Composition Competition

Submissions for the 2023-2024 Cambridge Chamber Singers Composition Competition will open in August 2023

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:
    • Remove all names and identifying marks from scores and recordings
    • The judging panel will only see scores and recordings, all other information will remain hidden.
  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, submit written permission to use it.
  8. You must submit electronically. The submission link will be posted once the contest is open.
    • Attachments larger than 10MB are blocked, so use a file transfer helper such as Dropbox, Google Drive, SendStuffNow or WeTransfer, for larger audio files.
  9. The deadline for the 2023-2024 competition will be announced in Summer 2023.

The prize for the winning composition is $1,000. 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.

Please direct any questions to

2023 Winner

May 15, 2023

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

The Cambridge Chamber Singers is pleased to announce that the winner of the year’s 2022 CCS International Choral Composition Competition is Matthew Brown, of Los Angeles, California, for his work A Red, Red Rose.

matthew brownCalifornia native MATTHEW BROWN is active in Los Angeles as a composer, orchestrator, arranger, keyboardist, session singer, and tenor with the Los Angeles Master Chorale. His choral works, hailed by the New York Times as “quietly mesmerizing,” are featured on the Antioch Chamber Ensemble’s album Though Love Be a Day and are published by Schott, G. Schirmer, and Hal Leonard. He completed his doctoral studies in music composition at the USC Thornton School of Music. His awards include the VocalEssence Welcome Christmas! Carol Contest, VocalEssence Essentially Choral Commission, and C4 Composition Competition. His works have been performed throughout the United States and internationally by groups such as Chanticleer, The Crossing, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus, L.A. Choral Lab, USC Chamber Singers, Los Robles Master Chorale, and the USC Thornton Symphony. Ensemble 14 presented an entire concert of his choral music at the 2017 Bodenseefestival in Friedrichshafen, Germany. His orchestrations for pop artist Moby were performed by Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He enjoys camping, hiking, photography, and astronomy.

Past winners:

  • 2022 Ily Matthew Maniano, Philippines – Creations Crescendo
  • 2020-2021 [Pandemic break]
  • 2019 Andrew Davis, Wellesley, MA, USA – On the Nature of Things
  • 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, Ottawa, Canada – Miserere
  • 2013-2014 [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