Chicago a cappella seeks submissions for HerVoice, a competition and mentorship program for women composers.  A partnership with the Vancouver Youth Choir, this opportunity is open to composers of all ages who self-identify as female, from anywhere in the world. It is intended to promote the work of promising composers and provide hands-on training to further their skills in choral composition. We are seeking composers who are eager to improve their skill at choral composition in particular. Women composers whose career is in its early stages and women composers of color are particularly encouraged to apply.

Up to six winners will be selected to receive personal mentorship and advice on the submitted piece via virtual one-on-ones with acclaimed composers and artistic directors from the selection committee. Composer Stacy Garrop will chair the selection committee, which will also include composer Zanaida Robles, Chicago a cappella Artistic Director John William Trotter, and Vancouver Youth Choir Artistic Director Carrie Tennant. In addition, the winners will be invited to attend a workshop rehearsal of their piece with one of the choirs (virtually, if travel is not possible), with the opportunity to receive feedback and make changes to the score. The piece will be performed by one of the choirs within one year of the workshop rehearsal, with a performance recording available to the composer for non-commercial use. The winners will each receive a $500 stipend for work with mentors and ensemble.

In addition, all composers who submit will be invited to participate in a virtual meeting with Stacy Garrop regarding the business side of composing, a conversation with conductors, and an informal group conversation about issues pertaining to navigating a career as a female composer.


Submit a piece for a cappella mixed voice choral ensemble with no more than 10 voice parts (SSSAATTBBB). The piece should be between 3-5 minutes in length. Texts used must be public domain or have written permission from copyright holder. Submissions must be unpublished, unawarded, and not previously broadcast.  Previously performed works are acceptable. Composers may submit a maximum of two pieces.  Composers who submitted works to HerVoice previously and did not win are invited to apply again,  but not with the same piece previously submitted.


  • Submission deadline:  April 1, 2023
  • Short interviews (phone or online) for finalists:  May 24-30, 2023
  • Decision announcement:  June 9, 2023
  • Virtual group sessions for all entrants: June 20 and 21, 2023
  • Winners’ mentoring sessions:  between June 15-Sept. 15, 2023
  • Workshop rehearsal: between June 15, 2023- June 15, 2024 (final version of piece to be completed one month following workshop rehearsal)
  • Performance: within one year of the workshop rehearsal


To submit, email the following:

  • PDF of your piece (hand-written acceptable), without your name anywhere on the score. Name the file as: Title.pdf”.
  • Written permission from text copyright holder, if not public domain.  Please indicate year the text was written for all texts.
  • Pronunciation guide and/or diction recording if you believe it is useful (e.g. for languages less often seen in standard North American repertoire)
  • Audio file of live performance, if available. MIDI file is acceptable.
  • PDF of brief artist statement (without your name) describing why are you interested in this opportunity. Maximum word count 300. If submitting two pieces, please include your artist statement with each application.
  • Include your complete contact information in the body of the email; no name or contact information on the attachments, please.

Submit via email to [email protected] no later than April 1, 2023.

Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Applicants are encouraged to check out the participating choirs to understand the types of works typically performed.