WVC Commission Competition

THE COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED. ENTRIES ARE NO LONGER BEING ACCEPTED.  WVC will publicly announce the name of the competition winner (and “honorable mentions,” if any) no later than March 1, 2018.


Women’s Voices Chorus (WVC) has evolved into the premier Triangle chorus for sopranos and altos. While performing a wide and diverse repertoire, we remain steadfast in support of our threefold mission: to provide a welcoming place in the Triangle for women to share the joy of singing together, to promote choral works written by and for women, and to strive to achieve the highest standards of musical excellence.


The WVC Commission Competition aims to identify a talented composer (of any gender) and support her/him in the creation of a new work to be integrated into the chorus’s 2019 Spring Concert program. This performance will focus on the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment by the US Congress, leading to the eventual ratification of women’s suffrage by the states. The concert will feature suffragette songs and the newly commissioned piece.


WVC is soliciting proposals for a choral work 13 to 20 minutes in duration in English, with text(s) chosen by the composer. Additional details of the competition are listed below. Applicants with questions are encouraged to contact the competition coordinator, Dr. Allan Friedman, at director@womensvoiceschorus.org.


This competition is open to composers regardless of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, and/or veteran status.


The chosen work will meet the following criteria:

  • 13 to 20 minutes in duration
  • Written for treble voices (SMA, SSAA, or SSSAAA)
  • Includes a separate part for treble chorus
  • Scored for up to 8 acoustic obbligato instruments, plus piano
  • Contains limited solo vocal material (or none)
  • Text(s) are in English
  • Has not been performed in any public setting, recorded, or promised to another group for first
    performance or first recording


Text(s) will be chosen by the composer. If the lyrics are not in the public domain and the composer is not the author or the copyright holder of the lyrics, it is the responsibility of the composer to obtain permission from the copyright holder before the application deadline.


Interested composers must submit the following items in their portfolio:

  1. A short proposal for the new work outlining their conception of the piece, including, but not limited to, proposed texts, potential instrumentation, use of various choirs, and their reasons for interest in the project. (File name: LastName Proposal.pdf)
  2. A biography of roughly 250 words (File name: LastName Bio.pdf)
  3. A current CV (File name: LastName CV.pdf)
  4. Two or three (2-3) work samples that demonstrate current compositional activity and a diversity of styles. At least one piece should be scored for chorus, preferably treble voices, and at least one piece should include scoring for an instrument or combination of instruments other than piano. (File names: LastName Sample 1.pdf, LastName Sample 2.pdf, LastName Sample 3.pdf)
    a. PDF files only. Notation files will not be accepted. Ancillary materials—such as notes, texts, and instructions—should be combined into a single PDF per work.
    b. Each score should bear the date of composition.
  5. Recordings of the submitted work samples. These may be acoustic recordings or MIDI renderings (though the latter is not preferred); the quality of performances or MIDI renderings will not be judged. MP3 files only. (File name: LastName Audio 1.mp3, LastName Audio 2.mp3, LastName Audio 3.mp3)


Upon request, Women’s Voices Chorus will provide audio recordings of its own past performances. Contact Dr. Allan Friedman at director@womensvoiceschorus.org.



  • Late entries
  • Incomplete entries
  • Illegible copies




Entries must be submitted electronically on or before January 15, 2018. Send all materials to Dr. Allan Friedman at director@womensvoiceschorus.org or PO Box 2854, Chapel Hill, NC 27515. USB/flash drive, CD, and file share through Google drive or Dropbox are all acceptable means of file transfer.


The winner will receive a prize of $6,500 in two installments: $1,500 upon execution of the commission contract, and $5,000 upon delivery of the completed choral/orchestral score. Payment will be in US funds only. Prize monies will be subject to applicable tax laws, and it is the responsibility of the winner to properly report the prize.


The performance in concert of the newly composed work will be recorded. One copy of any such recording will be furnished to the composer on CD, on DVD, or electronically in MP3 format.


No materials submitted for this competition will be returned.


The applications will be examined by a Jury chosen by Women’s Voices Chorus and will include the artistic director, Dr. Allan Friedman, and at least two chorus members who are professional musicians. The Jury will select a winner; the Jury’s decision is final and may not be appealed. Women’s Voices Chorus, at the advice of the Jury, reserves the right not to award the prize.


The Jury may, but is under no obligation to, identify applicants deserving of an “honorable mention.” This distinction comes with no monetary prize.


The artistic director of Women’s Voices Chorus will contact the winner directly no later than February 20, 2018, to confirm acceptance of the prize and to obtain a signed commission contract. WVC will publicly announce the name of the competition winner (and “honorable mentions,” if any) no later than March 1, 2018. The names of non-winners will not be made public and will be held in strict confidence. Entrants whose works do not win the prize will be informed no later than February 28, 2018.


A rough schedule estimate follows, but the winner must consult her/his signed contract for official deadlines.

  • May 15, 2018: Submit full proposal, including texts, proposed instrumentation, and choral distribution
  • August 1, 2018: Submit partial score and update on composition progress
  • October 15, 2018: Submit score draft to Dr. Friedman for review
  • November 1, 2018: Submit completed choral/piano score and Sibelius (preferred), Music XML, or MIDI files for the work
  • December 1, 2018: Submit final choral/orchestral score and instrumental parts