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Best Composing Competition I have Seen

Donald Patriquin has organized an incredible composition competition.   This is new and very exciting.  Check out the announcement.  Donald, please post specifically to our community as well!
 
P.S. 
Our Webmaster has updated some ChoralNet features.  I am now able to make the Composition Showcase our landing page.  When someone chooses our community from the communities tab, they will end up at the showcase!  Thanks Martin!
Replies (19): Threaded | Chronological
on January 3, 2014 10:40am
What community do I select to see this?
on January 7, 2014 6:38pm
Hi Brett,
 
TheC7Prize is at www.TheC7Prixe.com
 
Regards,
 
Donald
on January 7, 2014 7:46pm
Not it's not, stoopid- it's at www.TheC7Prize.com  
 
Your alter ego..
on January 3, 2014 3:53pm
Good Day Fellow Composers,
 
(We recommend Safari when viewing TheC7Prize.com)
 
Preamble: TheC7Prize is being given for 2014 for SATB works from 2 to 5 minutes; there are few restrictions– other than quality! Because of the nature of TheC7Prize, there is no age limit and no specific style requirement; works may be a cappella or piano-accompanied, sacred or secular, arrangements or original. They may be composer-published (although not ‘traditionally’ published), previously performed or not. There is a modest fee, which covers administrative costs as well as displays of all chosen “Recommended” works at National Conferences (ACDA & ACCC) in the USA and Canada.
 
Jack Senzig enthusiastically endorsed TheC7Prize – the latest choral composition competition and possibly the first in 2014 – and reminded me to make sure I got it into the Composers of Choral Music Community. As I write, TheC7Prize information has been up just about 24 hours (http://www.choralnet.org/view/432858)
and already there have been over 500 views of the information. This augurs well, as a great deal of the success of this competition depends upon the interest that will be generated amongst choral conductors not only in the USA and Canada, but around the world. More on this, and perhaps why Jack stated it is the “Best Composing Competition I have Seen…an incredible composition competition) below. Thanks for this, Jack. High praise coming from you! However, the competition is very much like a composition still on paper– it is merely a ‘blueprint’ that has to be realized before its real value can be assessed, and here is where we will all have to demonstrate to our composer and conductor colleagues the incredible potential of this competition.
 
En passant, I’ll tip my hat to Jack as he was the first – and practically the only – ‘critic’ to whom co-originator of TheC7Prize Elise Letourneau and I sent an early draft of the website. It was hardly necessary to send it elsewhere as he was so thorough in his scrutiny of the competition. 
 
So why does Jack call it “new and very exciting”? I’ll deal with the ‘new’ aspect, as that’s somewhat measureable. YOUR participation, and the participation of many, many conductors will make it exciting! You’ll find it at http://www.thec7prize.com/
 
I realized years ago that conductors (and I was amongst them) ended up choosing a lot of their music at conferences such as the ACDA in the USA and ACCC in Canada. The reason for this is pretty straightforward– these conferences are a wonderful ‘filter’ for new choral music. Conductors want their choirs to shine, and so they spend a lot of time choosing music that will have great audience as well as choir appeal. This is very much the case with new and recently composed choral music. There is a lot of it out there to choose from, so if a conductor can go to a conference hear how it sounds when its off the page, and know that it has been thoughtfully chosen for its appropriateness and appeal to choir and audience, then chances are that piece of music stands a better chance of being picked up than if it has not yet come off the page. Marry all this with the fact that composers are pretty careful about what they send off to choral composition competitions – arguably all the more so when there is even a modest fee attached – and so, if a broad spectrum of conductors can be brought into the adjudication process at a point where they are assessing carefully considered and somewhat vetted new music, we have a recipe for a great deal more newly composed music being looked at and subsequently performed.    
 
Competitions generally may be likened to a pyramid– the ‘top’, i.e. the ‘winner’, takes all, and the rest, well… you tell me! I’ve been there, and quite possibly you’ve been there too. But why should this necessarily be the case? Is every piece on a program a (prize) winner? One’s person’s meat is another’s poison may be overstating it, but that’s the general principle on which TheC7Prize is based. It recognizes in the adjudication process that ensemble suitability, accessibility, excellence, effectiveness and potential for wide performance are more important than trying to discern which of 500 entries (we’re being hopeful!) is the ‘best’, or even ‘second best’. Adjudicator assessment takes an empirical rather than academic approach. A conductor looking for church music will obviously look at music differently than the conductor of a community choir. This is why – in addition to three pieces being chosen by our three illustrious conductor-adjudicators for performance by their choirs – there is equal focus on the appropriateness of ALL entries for the broad spectrum of conductors who have signed up – and will continue to do so –to peruse, purchase and perform a large number of TheC7Prize compositions. (http://www.thec7prize.com/adjudicators.html) This, of course, is a ‘new’ element. It came to us readily when we asked ourselves “What is it that composers really want?” The answer– performances! (http://www.thec7prize.com/history.html) Composers also would like to be paid for their music and they’d like to have it exhibited at conferences, so both of these notions became an integral component of TheC7Prize.  
 
Elise and I will be exhibiting TheC7Prize prize-winning and ‘Recommended Works’ at Canada’s ACCC this May 15 – 18, and 365 days later at the ACDA Conference in Salt Lake City in 2015. We hope to see – and hear – you there! (http://www.thec7prize.com/prizes.html)
 
We also asked ourselves what conductors want as they search through the bins – real and virtual – for new music. I’ve already alluded to ‘filters’ above and for the moment would simply point out that the more conductors participate in TheC7Prize, the more they’ll get what they want.
 
So, fellow composers, do help each and every one of us to realize our dreams even more by talking to your conductor friends, sending them TheC7Prize link, and by participating in this endeavor.

Oh yes, I almost forgot– the “C7” in TheC7Prize stands for “Choirs, Conductors, and Composers collaborating on a Choral Composition Competition” – a brilliant acronym created by my jazz-oriented colleague, performer, conductor and composer-adjudicator Elise Letourneau!

Hoping to hear from composers, conductors and their choirs in 2014,
To fellow composers in particular– your feed-back is welcomed on any aspect of TheC7Prize.
 
It’s YOUR competition!
 
Elise Letourneau and Donald Patriquin
TheC7Prize originating conductor-composers
 
Donald Patriquin initiated the highly successful Canadian ACCC Associated Publishers Award for Choral Composition in 1998. It's still going very strong!
Applauded by an audience of 1
on January 3, 2014 4:24pm
Good Day Fellow Composers,
 
(We recommend Safari when viewing TheC7Prize.com)
 
Preamble: TheC7Prize is being given for 2014 for SATB works from 2 to 5 minutes; there are few restrictions– other than quality! Because of the nature of TheC7Prize, there is no age limit and no specific style requirement; works may be a cappella or piano-accompanied, sacred or secular, arrangements or original. They may be composer-published (although not ‘traditionally’ published), previously performed or not. There is a modest fee, which covers administrative costs as well as displays of all chosen “Recommended” works at National Conferences (ACDA & ACCC) in the USA and Canada.
 
Jack Senzig enthusiastically endorsed TheC7Prize – the latest choral composition competition and possibly the first in 2014 – and reminded me to make sure I got it into the Composers of Choral Music Community. As I write, TheC7Prize information has been up just about 24 hours (http://www.choralnet.org/view/432858)
and already there have been over 500 views of the information. This augurs well, as a great deal of the success of this competition depends upon the interest that will be generated amongst choral conductors not only in the USA and Canada, but around the world. More on this, and perhaps why Jack stated it is the “Best Composing Competition I have Seen…an incredible composition competition) below. Thanks for this, Jack. High praise coming from you! However, the competition is very much like a composition still on paper– it is merely a ‘blueprint’ that has to be realized before its real value can be assessed, and here is where we will all have to demonstrate to our composer and conductor colleagues the incredible potential of this competition.
 
En passant, I’ll tip my hat to Jack as he was the first – and practically the only – ‘critic’ to whom co-originator of TheC7Prize Elise Letourneau and I sent an early draft of the website. It was hardly necessary to send it elsewhere as he was so thorough in his scrutiny of the competition. 
 
So why does Jack call it “new and very exciting”? I’ll deal with the ‘new’ aspect, as that’s somewhat measureable. YOUR participation, and the participation of many, many conductors will make it exciting! You’ll find it at http://www.thec7prize.com/
 
I realized years ago that conductors (and I was amongst them) ended up choosing a lot of their music at conferences such as the ACDA in the USA and ACCC in Canada. The reason for this is pretty straightforward– these conferences are a wonderful ‘filter’ for new choral music. Conductors want their choirs to shine, and so they spend a lot of time choosing music that will have great audience as well as choir appeal. This is very much the case with new and recently composed choral music. There is a lot of it out there to choose from, so if a conductor can go to a conference hear how it sounds when its off the page, and know that it has been thoughtfully chosen for its appropriateness and appeal to choir and audience, then chances are that piece of music stands a better chance of being picked up than if it has not yet come off the page. Marry all this with the fact that composers are pretty careful about what they send off to choral composition competitions – arguably all the more so when there is even a modest fee attached – and so, if a broad spectrum of conductors can be brought into the adjudication process at a point where they are assessing carefully considered and somewhat vetted new music, we have a recipe for a great deal more newly composed music being looked at and subsequently performed.    
 
Competitions generally may be likened to a pyramid– the ‘top’, i.e. the ‘winner’, takes all, and the rest, well… you tell me! I’ve been there, and quite possibly you’ve been there too. But why should this necessarily be the case? Is every piece on a program a (prize) winner? One’s person’s meat is another’s poison may be overstating it, but that’s the general principle on which TheC7Prize is based. It recognizes in the adjudication process that ensemble suitability, accessibility, excellence, effectiveness and potential for wide performance are more important than trying to discern which of 500 entries (we’re being hopeful!) is the ‘best’, or even ‘second best’. Adjudicator assessment takes an empirical rather than academic approach. A conductor looking for church music will obviously look at music differently than the conductor of a community choir. This is why – in addition to three pieces being chosen by our three illustrious conductor-adjudicators for performance by their choirs – there is equal focus on the appropriateness of ALL entries for the broad spectrum of conductors who have signed up – and will continue to do so –to peruse, purchase and perform a large number of TheC7Prize compositions. (http://www.thec7prize.com/adjudicators.html) This, of course, is a ‘new’ element. It came to us readily when we asked ourselves “What is it that composers really want?” The answer– performances! (http://www.thec7prize.com/history.html) Composers also would like to be paid for their music and they’d like to have it exhibited at conferences, so both of these notions became an integral component of TheC7Prize.  
 
Elise and I will be exhibiting TheC7Prize prize-winning and ‘Recommended Works’ at Canada’s ACCC this May 15 – 18, and 365 days later at the ACDA Conference in Salt Lake City in 2015. We hope to see – and hear – you there! (http://www.thec7prize.com/prizes.html)
 
We also asked ourselves what conductors want as they search through the bins – real and virtual – for new music. I’ve already alluded to ‘filters’ above and for the moment would simply point out that the more conductors participate in TheC7Prize, the more they’ll get what they want.
 
So, fellow composers, do help each and every one of us to realize our dreams even more by talking to your conductor friends, sending them TheC7Prize link, and by participating in this endeavor.

Oh yes, I almost forgot– the “C7” in TheC7Prize stands for “Choirs, Conductors, and Composers collaborating on a Choral Composition Competition” – a brilliant acronym created by my jazz-oriented colleague, performer, conductor and composer-adjudicator Elise Letourneau!

Hoping to hear from composers, conductors and their choirs in 2014,
To fellow composers in particular– your feed-back is welcomed on any aspect of TheC7Prize.
 
It’s YOUR competition!
 
Elise Letourneau and Donald Patriquin
TheC7Prize originating conductor-composers
 
Donald Patriquin initiated the highly successful Canadian ACCC Associated Publishers Award for Choral Composition in 1998. It's still going very strong!
on January 4, 2014 1:21am
I love the concept of this competition - linking composers and choral conductors, but my only regret is that it is limited to composers living in the US or Canada!
on January 4, 2014 4:01am
Do you envision opening up the competition to composers outside the US and Canada later on? I was very excited to read but then saw the limits :(
Applauded by an audience of 1
on January 4, 2014 5:44am
Hello Gordon and Hildigunnur- your regret is ours as well, believe me, but we have to keep the lid on the first time around so that it is manageable– and we're both composers so you know what occupies us otherwise!. Another reason, at least for the first year, is that we do want to exhibit in Canada (ACCC) and the USA (ACDA) and presently can not afford - from several points of view - to cart a great deal of music around to expensive though well attended exhibits. (I have had 'tables' at ACCC for over a decade now and have benefitted greatly from them). Also, we have no idea as to how conductors will respond to the competition, though I suspect they'll see the potential in it once it's up and running. (We're both conductors as well). We'll very likely open the floodgates another time round, but have to err on the side of caution this initial year so that we can do our colleagues justice. Thank-you for your kind endorsement!
 
Donald
Applauded by an audience of 1
on January 4, 2014 6:18am
That's fair enough, Donald, and thank you for your quick response to us 'outsiders'!
 
i wish you well for this exciting and innovative project!
on January 4, 2014 9:08am
Yep, fair enough :)  Will follow this and send the link to my conductor as well. 
 
best
Hildigunnur
on January 4, 2014 3:28pm
Many thanks, Hildigunnur. TheC7Prize and all who compose, sing, conduct, listen and publish will, in time, benefit tremendously from actions such as yours.
 
Donald
on January 4, 2014 8:30am
Question: Does the JW Pepper MyScore program count as self-published or as traditionally published?  It's sort of in-between.
on January 4, 2014 9:44am
Another question: SATB div? If so, how much div. would be acceptable?
on January 4, 2014 10:27am
That's addressed on the site (thec7prize.com).  Paraphrasing, go ahead but be aware that too much may put off the adjudicators.  Donald can expound more fully, I suspect.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on January 4, 2014 10:37am
John,
 
Thanks, but I didn't see that addressed. Will you tell me where?
on January 4, 2014 12:43pm
John,
 
Never mind. Found it. Sorry.
on January 4, 2014 7:01pm
John and others with similar questions about TheC7Prize:
Many of your questions will be answered in the generic Overview when you search a keyword (such as 'divisi' in this case).
 
The general principle to keep in mind in virtually all such situations (as John echoes) is that entering TheC7Prize competition is somewhat like sending a composition to a number of conductors. Some conductors may well relish considerable or even full divisi in each part, but most would not likely so relish. This does not imply that a good piece of choral writing would be chucked out at the outset on account of a lot of divisi– far from it! it does imply, though, that the more difficult a piece is to perform, the less the chances of a conductor programming it for his or her choir. That's reality, and TheC7Prized is entrenched in reality! However, the piece might well at some point catch the eye of a conductor looking for lush 8-part works. This is precisely why we made a decision at one point to allow TWO entries. If I were to enter this competition – and how I would LOVE to do the impossible – I would quite possibly enter a pretty straight-forward, well written work capable of being sung by a good to excellent choir, and a second, well crafted work of greater difficulty that only highly trained choirs might want to tackle. It is planned that ALL recommended works be available for perusal on TheC7Prize website – in either complete or abbreviated form as composers wish – for a year or more following adjudication. 
 
TheC7Prize Overview on 'divisi':

• Brief divisi up to SSAATTBB is acceptable; complete eight-part works will likely result in limited performance of that work, but are not discouraged per se.

 

Thanks for asking!

 

Donald 

 

 

on January 4, 2014 2:33pm
Online retailers such as JWPepper MyScore, CadenaOne, SheetMusicPlus, MusicaNeo, etc., are acting as dealers, not publishers.  The composer (or his or her self-publishing "company") is the actual publisher in these situations.
on January 4, 2014 7:09pm
Thanks, Greg. This is entirely correct. Just be sure in any dubious situation that YOU (the composer) ARE the publisher, and you're entirely eligible to enter TheC7Prize.
 
Donald
Applauded by an audience of 1
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