Florida Vocal Association

2023 Choral Composition Contest

The FVA Choral Composition Contest has been established to encourage efforts in original composition and to give recognition for outstanding achievement.

Contest Rules

The applicant must be a high school (9–12) music student under the direction of an active member of FVA.

Composition must be an SATB (opt. divisi) choral arrangement of traditional choral style.

All completed submission materials must be sent by email to the Music Committee Chair by September 29 (music@fva.net).

Composition Requirements
  • Must be submitted in PDF format, using music notation software
  • Must be legible and marked for complete understanding
    • Printed with one staff for each voice part. If a voice part divides, the two may remain on the same staff.
  • The time duration of the composition must be at least two minutes and long enough to be consistent with good form and taste.
  • The accompaniment must be on two staves below the voice parts.
    • If the composition is a cappella, a piano reduction accompaniment must be provided for rehearsal.
  • Make sure that the text you are using, if not original, is in the public domain and you have the right to set the text to music. Our panel of judges recommends selecting a poem/text that has already been published, as opposed to writing your own text. This is only a suggestion, enabling you to focus more on musical aspects if your text is already solid.
Evaluation

Entries shall be evaluated by 3–5 judges.

Rubric

Judges
  • Ms. Sherry Blevins,  a sought-after artist and award-winning composer, lyricist, music educator, conductor, and clinician. Since 2017, she has been honored to compose for a variety of singers and ensembles across North America, including Oklahoma High School All-State Honor Choir, the West Vancouver Schools’ Honour Choirs, Tennessee All-State Treble choir, The Chattanooga Boys Choir, renowned soprano, Rebecca cook- Carter, the Piedmont Invitational Choral Festival, South Carolina Music Educators National Conference, Young Voices of the Carolinas, The Cincinnati Boychoir, Santa Monica College, and many other all-state, all-county, and honor choirs. National Concerts recently commissioned her to compose a work that will premiere at Carnegie Hall in 2024. Sherry has publications with Hinshaw Music which has awarded her her own series. She is also published with BriLee Music, Colla Voce, and Jocelyn Hagen Music in the recently debuted “Compose Like a Girl” series.
  • Dr. Julian Bryson, the Director of Choral Activities at Jacksonville University (FL). He was previously Associate Professor of Fine and Applied Arts at Curry College in Milton, MA. He earned his DMA in choral conducting from the University of Kentucky under the guidance of Jefferson Johnson and Lori Hetzel. His dissertation focused on collectively organized choirs, including New York’s C4 and Triad: Boston’s Choral Collective, of which Julian is a founding member.
  • Dr. Andrew Larson, associate dean and professor of music at Stetson University. In addition to his administrative role, he conducts the Stetson University Chorale (Soprano/Alto Choir) and teaches conducting. He has conducted all the choirs at Stetson for multiple years, most recently the Choral Union. He has taught courses in conducting and choral methods and a First Year Seminar called “Mozart, Movies, and Musicology.” Larson has studied with Will Kesling, Ronald Staheli, Mack Wilberg, Fred Stoltzfus, and Chester Alwes. He has written for the Choral Journal, is a past president of Florida ACDA, and is a past winner of the Wayne Hugoboom Award for Distinguished Service to choral music in Florida. He has conducted concerts and worked with honor choirs in eleven states, including county, regional and all-state festivals, and he has adjudicated choirs from all over the country and presented at professional conferences of ACDA and FMEA/FVA.
  • Dr. Kelly Miller, Coordinator of Music Education at the University of Central Florida where she also conducts the Women’s Chorus and Ensemble. Dr. Miller taught choral music at the high school level for thirteen years in Michigan, Florida, and Nebraska. Before directing choirs, Miller taught band for grades five through twelve, music theory, and elementary general music. Miller holds National Board Certification in secondary choral music and a D.M.A. degree from Michigan State University in choral conducting.
  • Jim Papoulis has made significant contributions to choral music by revitalizing the choral repertoire with songs whose roots are classical and world, with voicing that incorporates lead vocalists with choirs, vocal percussion, and world rhythms. His choral work is often sung from the singer’s perspective, and he is constantly inspired by the work he does through the foundation for small voices. He firmly believes that music can heal, educate, celebrate, and empower the lives of children. Through the Foundation for Small Voices, he has conducted songwriting workshops with choirs from the United States, China, Japan, Tanzania, Mexico, Kenya, Newfoundland, Trinidad, Dominican Republic, Haiti, England, Norway, Canada, Spain, Italy, Kenya, Uganda, Turkey, Brazil, France, Ireland, Bosnia, Jordan, Australia, Holland, Dubai, and Greece.
Required Submission Materials

Items to submit by email to Music Committee Chair, by September 29, 2023:

  • A signed copy of the completed Entry Form (PDF)
  • Picture of the composer
  • A PDF copy of the music manuscript
  • An MP3 recording of the composition.
    • may be an electronic recording via Finale or similar composition app
Past Winners
  • 2022: Nothing Gold Can Stay, Elizabeth Weber (Niceville HS)
  • 2021: Sanctus, Lazaro Alonso (Miami Arts Studio 6–12 at Zelda Glazer)