Calling All Composers!

The Portland Symphonic Choir officially invites applications for a winter carol composition contest

The composition selected will receive a $500 prize along with a premiere performance (and associated archival recording) by the choir during the 2017 Wintersong! concerts, to be held December 9 and 10 in Portland, Oregon. The winning composition may also be considered for publication by several large publishing companies.

Guidelines: The work should be an original, unpublished composition that has received no prior public performance and is appropriate for use on a holiday concert. Text setting may be sacred or secular and should be translated into to English or Latin (proof of public domain or author’s written permission for use of text required). The carol setting may be strophic and contain refrains.

Voicing: SATB (up to eight part divisi), 150-voice auditioned chorus, medium difficulty, scored for organ, brass, and percussion.  Any combination of these instruments is acceptable; a cappella is also acceptable; must not exceed the instrumentation of the Rutter Gloria.

Duration: 3-5 minutes in length.

Submission Requirements: Please include a signed and completed application form, two copies of the full score, a short biography and a signed statement providing permission to use the text. Each copy of the score and all recordings should marked with a pseudonym of the composer’s choice. Please remove all markings that would identify the composer in order to ensure anonymity.

Eligibility: All composers over the age of 18 residing in the United States are eligible to apply.

Deadline: Score and application materials must be received on or before Monday, October 2, 2017 and results will be announced on Friday of that week. The winner of the contest must provide a final performance score on or before Friday, October 20, 2017.

Selection Process: Applications and scores will be screened by the executive director and the final selection will be made by the Guest Artistic Director conducting the 2017 Wintersong concert along with the Portland Symphonic Choir’s Artistic Development Committee. Upon PSC Board approval, the contestant will be notified and the winner announced. The compositions will be anonymously reviewed by the committee and Guest Artistic Director. The composer’s identity will be announced upon their selection.

To apply, please submit (either electronically or by mail):

  1. Two copies of full score with your pseudonym (to remain anonymous to the selection committee).
  2. Application Form: Click link to download: 2017 Carol Composition Contest
  3. Composer biography (no longer than one page)
  4. Document giving permission or status for use of text
  5. Recording (optional, one copy only please)

Materials should be sent to Executive Director, Cara Cantonwine by email ( or by mail to: P.O. Box 1517, Portland, OR 97207 and must be received by Monday, October 2, 2017 to be considered.