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Deadline Extended for Submissions to Lutheran Youth Choir's 2012 International Choral Composition Contest

The Lutheran Youth Choir of North America, formed in 2005 by Founding Conductor Philip Spencer, announces the extension of the deadline to January 31, 2013 for submissions to its 2012 International Choral Composition Contest. Composers age 18 or older living in any country are eligible to submit one or more compositions. In addition to a $500 cash prize, the winning composition will be performed by the Lutheran Youth Choir of North America at its 2013 Festival of American Vocal Music for American and German youth at Mansfeld Castle in Mansfeld, Germany. For complete contest entry requirements and information about the 2013 and 2014 festivals, go the the Lutheran Youth Choir's website,
Replies (9): Threaded | Chronological
on November 18, 2012 6:43pm
Havig trouble accessing the info....
where I get this message:

The page you tried to access does not exist on this server. This page may not exist due to the following reasons:

  1. You are the owner of this web site and you have not uploaded (or incorrectly uploaded) your web site. For information on uploading your web site using FTP client software or web design software, click here for FTP Upload Information.
  2. The URL that you have entered in your browser is incorrect. Please re-enter the URL and try again.
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Thanks...  Rich
on November 19, 2012 5:24am
The PDF that Rich mentions above is now publicly viewable, so that's OK. 
I'm put off by the $25 entry fee for a prize of only $500 though. (And the fact that I'd have to work out how to send you a check in US dollars - most competitions of this sort accept Paypal by now.)
Applauded by an audience of 1
on November 19, 2012 7:11am
Hi Chris - not to be too cynical, but raising $500 (and probably more;= profit) off the backs of composers to foster a self-paying composition competition is not my idea of what an organisation, let alone an overtly Christian one, should be doing. I have read comments, virtually all negative, about this sort of practice on previous ChoralNet forums. It only takes 20 composers to raise the $500. I won't be one of them! This amounts to a lottery when you think about it- just barely legal, and not terribly moral; somewhat of a negative start to the day...
Applauded by an audience of 3
on November 19, 2012 7:53am
Just to throw an opposing view out there: No one is forcing anyone to apply.  Those who choose to apply stand to gain exposure, experience, and a certain measure of bragging rights for winning.  Moreover, I don't think it's fair to assume that it's purely a profit-making scheme on the part of a chorus holding a pay-to-play competition; the application fees could be going to pay an honorarium to competition judges, or to help cover any other number of legitmate expenses a group incurs in the course of a season, not the least of which might be putting on a concert in which the winner's music is performed.  
It's true that competitions (pay-to-play or free) are always a crapshoot, but there are good reasons to apply, especially for composers in the early stages of their careers.  I have been blessed with wonderful experiences as a result of my entries in competitions over the years (again, some pay-to-play, some not), and am grateful to the organizations that have held them.
As I write this, I wonder whether this thread is the best place for this discussion; the thread "belongs" (as much as it can be said) to Rich and the Lutheran Youth Choir of North America.  I wish him and the LYCNA all the best and I hope they get lots of high-quality entries.
Joseph Gregorio
on November 19, 2012 9:18am
Shouldn't we leave the cost/benefit analysis up to the individual composers who are considering entering this competition? If you've never been in the position of running a non-profit, I can tell you from experience that even a modest amount like $500 does not grow on trees, and it doesn't appear magically in the mailbox on account of your noble ideals and your organization's carefully crafted vision/mission statement. It is practically impossible to find funders willing to support a start-up project with no track record.

The entry fee model is simply the only model that will work for a majority of small ensembles and performing arts organizations. If no organizations charged entry fees (which offset many other expenses besides the award amounts), we would have far fewer organizations performing, commissioning, and promoting new works. Is that what we want?
Applauded by an audience of 1
on November 19, 2012 8:56am
I never will apply for contests where there is a fee, and I know many composers who feel the same way.  Even if you successfully win, if you are paying a fee for every contest, that winning purse soon becomes absorbed by the fees.  Groups who have contests without a fee usually fund the project by other means, either from their regualr budget, special giving to the project, or grants.  I would suggest that you consider that if you want to draw from a greater pool of composers.
Nan Beth Walton
Applauded by an audience of 3
on November 19, 2012 1:13pm
As a composer outside of the USA I would concur with those who find the entry fee an impediment, especially for a small prospective return. Having helped run a similar contest down here, I insisted we did not have an entry fee. For anything overseas needing a bank cheque, the entry fee can effectively be doubled by the bank fee. Some kind of on-line payment system would be helpful. One would presume a smallish contest such as this one would be judged by the choir's existing music staff. My feeling would be that anything offering a prize under $1000 should have free entry. Any thoughts on that idea?
Incidentally, if the contest entry is now end of January, why does the entry form request scores be postmakred by December 31?
David Hamilton
Auckland, New Zealand
Applauded by an audience of 2
on November 19, 2012 1:32pm
Assigning an entry fee is the prerogative of the director/board of directors, and it sounds like you accept the pros and cons that come with assigning an entry fee.  It's fairly common practice.  However, $25 is steep for a potential $500 return, and I urge you to rethink this a bit.  The great part about this is you are promoting art!  The hard part is that your organization doesn't sound financially strong enough to afford this endeavor on their own.  I can completely relate and I commend you for trying.  Don't loose sight and keep working - you're definitely on the right path Chris.
Another way you can consider defraying expenses is to use a portion of the concert proceeds to substantiate the award check  You could decrease the entry fee to $10, and then work with your board to budget the first $250 of concert proceeds to go to the winning composer's award check.  Or do away with the entry fee, publicize the concert more heavily, and derive the award check entirely from concert revenues.  The performance and audience reception are the revenue generators directly tied to this endeavor anyway, so it'd be justifiable and legit.
If you haven't started a "razoo" account, do it, post it on facebook, and raise funds for this particular project.  If you've been around since 2005, you'll have no problem raising that money through your fans and supporters.  All donations go directly to the nonprofit through razoo, and there are no hidden fees.  IT'S GREAT! 
If your intentions are pure and you're not trying to make this a money-maker, then dismiss most of the above flack - especially the rude, acidic comments - and keep brainstorming solutions.  The gold part of the above negative responses here that you should listen to Chris is "$25 is too much".  Let that resonate in your mind as you find a better solution.  You'll figure it out.
on November 19, 2012 1:48pm
Some things worth reading in regard to fees to enter competitions (note: I am in the camp that fees should not be charged to composers to enter these competitions & that costs for judging & administering competitions should be budgeted in some other way) :
From the blog of Krista Lang Balckwood, director of Octarium:
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