Sandy Fivecoat Memorial Emerging Composer Contest — Open Division

Inversion is now accepting submissions for our annual Sandra Fivecoat Memorial Emerging Composer Contest: Open Division. The composer of the winning piece will receive a prize of $500 and a performance at Inversion’s “Planet Home” concert which features music that honors the earth and examines our place in its threatened ecosystem. The performances take place on February 25 and 26, 2023 in Austin, Texas. Submissions are due Sunday, January 1, 2023 at 11:59 PM. Inversion is a modern, innovative ensemble and welcomes the use of extended technique, non-traditional forms, graphic scores, etc.


Composers must currently reside in the United States or U.S. Territories. There is no age requirement. The contest is not open to any current or past singers with Inversion Ensemble or composers living outside of the U.S./U.S territories.

Composition Requirements:

  • Performance time between 3 to 5 minutes
  • Scored for choir (up to SSAATTBB) a cappella or with piano.
  • Piano reduction of voice parts for rehearsal
  • Any text for the piece must be the composer’s original writing, in the public domain, or be accompanied by a letter of permission from the copyright owner.
  • Scores must be engraved using Finale, Sibelius, or Musescore, and submitted in PDF format, with the composer’s name removed. The PDF copy must be clear, clean, and legible. No handwritten scores will be considered. Graphic scores may be a PDF scan of a written score if applicable.
  • Submitted pieces may have received previous performances, but may not be published prior to January 1, 2023.
  • Please submit only one (1) entry total.
  • No fee is required for submission.

Submit the following:

  • PDF copy of your composition without your name anywhere on the body of composition.
  • MP3 recording or midi rendering
  • Headshot
  • Cover letter that includes the following information:
    • Composer’s name
    • Physical address and mailing address (if different)
    • Phone number
    • Email address
    • Date of birth
    • Current occupation (including if you are currently an enrolled student)
    • Short bio

Judging criteria include, but are not limited to:

  • Compositional structure
  • Voice leading
  • Harmonic language
  • Adherence to concert theme
  • Text selection and setting
  • General understanding of choral idiom

All entries must be submitted by 11:59 PM January 1, 2023. The winner will be notified no later than January 20, 2023. The composer will have the opportunity to have a phone meeting with Inversion Artistic Director Trevor Shaw. The winner will receive a $500 cash prize, inclusion of the piece on our February 25 and 26, 2023,* concerts, and a recording of composition concert performances. The winning composer is not required to attend the performance. There are no funds available to assist the winning composer with travel expenses.

Please send all materials to: [email protected].

*Performance details subject to change depending on the status of COVID in the Austin area.