Biannual Composition Competition

Past Winners:
2019: Michael Sitton
2022: Chris Artley

The Third Composition Competition (2024)

Grace Congregational UCC in Rutland, Vermont, is pleased to announce its third  Composition Competition to recognize and support a new work for large concert choir and classical chamber orchestra to be performed by the Rutland Area Chorus and orchestra in December, 2024.

The contest is soliciting original unpublished compositions of settings of Advent or Christmas texts for SATB chorus, optional SATB soloists, and chamber orchestra. The pieces should be no longer than 8 minutes. The orchestra comprises three first and three second violins, two violas and two cellos, one double bass, two oboes, one bassoon, two trumpets, timpani, harpsichord and organ. The work must be scored for SATB chorus, but can use any combination of the available soloists and orchestra.

You must have proof of permission to use any text not in the public domain.

The winning work will be awarded $1,000.00 (USD) and two performances by the Rutland Area Chorus on December 8th, 2024, at Grace Congregational UCC. The winning composer is encouraged to attend the premiere of the composition. There is no stipend for travel but some housing arrangements may be available.

Competition Application Process

This competition is open to all composers regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, or veteran status. Grace Congregational UCC and Rutland Area Chorus staff members are not permitted to enter the competition.

Composition guidelines:

  • The work should be for SATB choir (generally, no more than 4 parts but may include limited divisi), optional SATB soloists, and any combination of instruments from the classical chamber orchestra listed above.
  • The work should be up to 8 minutes in length (5-8 minutes preferable)
  • The work must not have been performed in any public setting or previously published. This is to be a premier performance.
  • If the intended lyrics are not in the public domain, and the composer is not the author and copyright holder of the lyrics, it is the responsibility of the composer to obtain permission from the copyright holder before the application deadline.
  • Include the date of the composition on the score.
  • Include the performance time on the score.

Items to submit:

  • All scores will be in PDF format
  • A brief bio, contact information, and description of the piece (PDF)
  • Proof of permission to use text (and any other copyright), if applicable.
  • An entry fee of $25.00 (USD) per submission must be received before entries are considered.

Cheques or money orders should be mailed to:

Composition Competition
Grace Congregational UCC Church
8 Court Street, Rutland, VT, 05701


Pay online using Tithely:

  1. In the “Give to” box, select: “Grace Church Composition Competition.”
  2. In the note/memo box, add name of composer and composition.

If you have any questions about this process please contact

Scores and all materials should be submitted electronically to

Pieces will be adjudicated by the Grace Congregational UCC and Rutland Area Chorus music staff. The judges decision will be final.

Composers retain copyright of music submitted. By submitting a composition in this competition, the winning composer agrees that your composition maybe photocopied for the purposes of adjudication, rehearsal and performance by the Rutland Area Chorus, and that the winning composer will provide orchestral parts as specified in the timeline below. Also, the winning composer grants Grace Congregational UCC the right to audio and video record the live performance, to distribute the recording for marketing/PR purposes, and to feature the recording on our website, and social media account at no cost to Grace Congregational UCC. The composer, with permission from Grace Congregational UCC, may use the recorded performance for future promotion of the work.


Submission deadline: 1 September, 2024

Winner announced by: 1 October, 2024

Winning entry orchestral parts required by: 1 November, 2024

Premier Performance: December 8th, 2024, at 3:30 and 7 pm.

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