Composition Competition

Competition Details

We regret to announce that we will not be hosting a competition in Fall 2020. The Cambridge Chamber Singers are committed to giving a quality performance of the winning composition to an appreciative audience. Because of the unpredictability of the current health situation, we do not feel that we can commit to that at this time.

Please check back in 2021 for updates on when the next contest will be held.

Submission Criteria

  1. Original composition for a cappella, 4-6 part mixed choir, occasional divisi is acceptable;
  2. Approximately three to six minutes long;
  3. Not previously performed in Massachusetts;
  4. Anonymous submission:
    1. Remove all names and identifying marks;
    2. Provide a separate document (PDF or Word) containing your name, address, email, and phone number;
  5. Submit a legible score. In addition, recordings or synthesized versions are strongly encouraged but are not required;
  6. A maximum of two different scores may be submitted by each composer;
  7. If the text is not public domain, include written permission to use it;
  8. You must submit electronically via email to with your piece as a PDF attachment. Sibelius, Finale and other formats will not be accepted. Attachments larger than 5MB are blocked, so use a Dropbox, such as SendStuffNow, for larger audio files.
  9. The deadline for the 2021 competition is TBA.

The prize for the winning composition is $700. The piece will also be performed by the Cambridge Chamber Singers at their two concerts in the Boston area. CCS encourages the composer’s attendance.

The Cambridge Chamber Singers reserves the right to not award a prize.

There are no restrictions according to age or residency. The text may be in any language. A composer may submit no more than two pieces, but composers are welcome to resubmit non-winning works again.

Composers will receive an e-mail confirming their completed application at the close of the competition. Before that time, composers will only be contacted if their submission is incomplete.

For further information, email

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Spring 2020 concert featuring work by Andrew Davis, the winner of the Joint Commissioning Prize from the Cambridge Chamber Singers and The Boston New Music Initiative, will be rescheduled. Please stay tuned for more information!

Andrew-1Composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music Andrew Davis earned his BA in music from Yale University, an MM in composition from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012, a PhD in composition from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017, and an MS in computer science from Stanford University in 2018. His works have been performed at numerous festivals and by several ensembles across the U.S., including the PRISM Quartet, the Daedalus Quartet, the Luna Nova Ensemble, the University of Texas Wind Ensemble, and the Yale Concert Band. He has received honors from ASCAP, BMI, The Lyra Society, and ISCM-Texas, and has held residencies at Atlantic Center for the Arts and ACRE. He currently teaches at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.

Past winners:

  • 2018 Gilad Hochman, Israel – Beyond Nine Lakes
  • 2017 David von Kampen, Lincoln, NE, USA – Here Among the Flowers
    • 2017 Honorable Mention: Jean Ahn, San Francisco, CA, USA – Folksong Revisited: Gangwondo Arirang
  • 2016 Hamid Mardkhanjari, Tehran, Iran – Konus Kale
  • 2015 Kelly-Marie Murphy, Ottowa, Canada – Miserere
  • 2014 [Administrative break]
  • 2013 [Administrative break]
  • 2012 Nick Omiccioli, Kansas City, MO – A Song of Joys
  • 2011 Gregory Zavracky, Jamaica Plain, MA – Sighs are my Food
  • 2010 Giselle Wyers, Lake Forest Park, WA- Love and Wine (commission)
  • 2009 Elizabeth Kennedy Bayer, Phoenix, AZ – One Day When It’s Winter
  • 2008 Stephen Feigenbaum, New Haven, CT – Clair de lune
  • 2007 Joshua Shank, Austin, TX – A Grass-Green Pillow
  • 2006 Abbie Betinis, Saint Paul, MN – Carmina Mei Cordis (Songs of My Heart)
  • 2005 David Schneider, Bloomington, IN, USA – O Colonia
  • 2004 Sydney Guillaume, Miami, FL, USA – Kalinda
  • 2003 Paul Carey, Oak Park, IL, USA – Esta Tarde
  • 2002 Giselle Wyers, Boise, ID, USA – Ave Maria
  • 2001 Ulrike Emanuelsson, Lund, Sweden – Rosten ur morkret sjunger
  • 2000 Julian Wachner, Boston, MA, USA – there is a moon sole
  • 1999 Jason Bahr, Urbana, IL, USA – Psaume 1
  • 1998 Forrest Pierce, Urbana, IL, USA – Song of Songs
  • 1997 Tsippi Fleischer, Tel Aviv, Israel – No Hand has Touched You