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Arrowhead Chorale

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Choral Composition Contest for Emerging Composers


In conjunction with our February 2017 concerts, featuring works by Minnesota composer Craig Carnahan, the Arrowhead Chorale is sponsoring a contest to select a new work by an emerging composer, which will also be performed at the concerts.

The Arrowhead Chorale Board of Directors, its Artistic Director Dr. Stanley Wold, and Craig Carnahan will assist in the selection process. The winning composer will receive a cash award of $500 plus a stipend to help defray expenses to attend the concerts.

Competition Guidelines and Information:

  • World premiere: no prior performance of the submitted work
  • Original music: no arrangements or new settings of existing musical material
  • Type of composition: appropriate for performance by an accomplished 24-voice choir (SATB), either a cappella or with minimal accompaniment
  • Length: 3-8 minutes
  • Theme/style: composer’s choice, but compositions related to the Northland and/or its people would have broad appeal
  • Text/language: composer’s choice. Proof of public domain or the publisher’s/author’s permission for use of text is required
  • Composers are limited to one submission. Multiple submissions are not permitted.
  • There is no fee to enter this contest

Submission Process Details:

Entries to the competition must be submitted electronically, and emailed to:

Composers should submit:

  • One PDF of the score, including its duration and the composer’s name
  • A midi recording (mp3)
  • A brief biography (1 page maximum) including the composer’s name and contact information (address, email, and phone number)
  • Proof that the text is in the public domain, or that the publisher’s/author’s permission has been granted
  • Scores created using a music notation software program (i.e. Finale, Sibelius, etc.) are encouraged but not required
  • Submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. (CDT) on Friday, October 21, 2016
  • If submitting an unaccompanied work, a piano reduction of the choral parts should be included in the score


Composers must currently reside in North America. This competition is limited to emerging composers. “Emerging” is defined as a composer who is at the earliest point in his/her career, with limited performances and awards, and no more than a handful of commissions.


• Compositions must be received by 11:59 p.m. (CDT) on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016
• Selection of the winning composition will be announced by Friday, Dec. 9, 2016
• Performances will take place in Duluth, MN, the weekend of Feb. 10-12, 2017

Questions about this competition should be directed to Craig Carnahan at


Composition Contest Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How do I know if I’m an “emerging” composer?
A: We are seeking a composer who is at the earliest stage of his/her career, with limited performances of their music, few awards, and no more than a handful (5-6) of commissions.

Q: The piece I want to submit has been sung by my church choir, but hasn’t been performed in a public concert. Is it eligible?
A: It is not eligible. We are looking for a piece that has never been performed.

Q: My piece is 15 minutes long. Will you consider it?
A: The maximum length we’ll consider is 8 minutes. It’s acceptable if the piece you submit is slightly longer (1 or 2 minutes), but no more than that.

Q: I would like to submit a piece for women’s chorus. Is it eligible to be considered?
A: It is not eligible. The Arrowhead Chorale is mixed (SATB) and we are only interested in pieces that utilize the full ensemble.

Q: What are the ranges of each section in the Chorale?
A: Ranges should be suitable for a semi-professional choral group and may include divided parts in any/or all sections.

Q: I use graphic notation rather than traditional music notation. Is that acceptable?
A: Yes, as long as you include a clear definition of each element.

Q: Can my piece include electronics?
A: That depends on how extensive and how complicated the electronic elements are. We’ll make that decision on a case-by-case basis.



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