2023 WCDA Student Choral Composition Contest

Entry Requirements and Guidelines

Entry Deadline is: MAY 1, 2023 



  • Composer must be a music student, either:
    • currently attending high school in Wisconsin
    • currently pursuing an undergraduate degree at a Wisconsin college or university
    • or be a Wisconsin high school graduate currently pursuing an undergraduate degree at an out-of-state college or university
  • No age limit.
  • No entry fee.
  • Any previous winner of the WCDA Student Choral Composition Contest is not eligible.

Composition Requirements 

  • 2 to 4 voice parts (SA, SAB, SATB, SSA, TBB, etc.) with no divisi, and have an easy to moderate difficulty level appropriate for beginning to intermediate-level high school choirs.
  • Duration: 3-5 minutes.
  • Unaccompanied (a cappella), or with piano accompaniment, or with pre-recorded, unique backing track
  • Sacred or secular text in any language. (An English translation is required for any text that is not in English).
  • If the text is not in the public domain, the composer must include a written statement of permission signed by the copyright holder of the text along with their submission.

Entry Requirements 


  • Must be the original work of the composer. Arrangements will not be accepted.
  • Must not be a commissioned work.
  • Must currently be unpublished and will not be published prior to the award announcement. (Previously performed works are allowed.)
  • Must not have won or placed (second, third, honorable mention, etc.) in any prior composition contest.
  • Must not be entered in any other contests between the date of submission to this contest and the award announcement.

Material Submission Requirements

  • A pdf version of the full score via email to the address at the end of this document.
    • PLEASE NOTE: The score itself should NOT contain the composer’s name, or any other identifying information (school, teacher, dedication, etc.).
  • A pdf version of your completed Entry Submission Form (or a link to same)
  • A pdf version of any applicable copyright holder’s permission statement (only if needed)


  • No recordings will be accepted, unless your composition requires a pre-recorded, unique backing track (in mp3 format).
  • Entries notated through music notation software are highly encouraged.
  • The following will be considered ineligible:
    • Entries received after 11:59 PM on May 1, 2023
    • Incomplete entries
    • Illegible entries
    • Entries that do not follow the Composition Requirements and/or the Entry Requirements..

Contest Judging 

  • Entries will be judged by a contest committee of at least three qualified choral music professionals.
  • Judges will strive to choose winning compositions that are of easy to moderate difficulty and that can be successfully performed by beginning to intermediate-level secondary school choirs.
  • Judges may select two winning compositions: one composition by a current high school student, and one by a current college student.
  • If, in the opinion of the judges, no composition meets the expected standards, no awards will be granted.
  • The decisions of the contest judges will be final and no correspondence may be entered into regarding the awards.
  • The winning composition(s) will be announced publicly on or about May 15, 2023.
  • All applicants will be notified of the contest results via email, no later than the day the winning composition(s) are announced publicly.
  • Each winning composer will be contacted by WCDA to follow through on details about:
    1. Distribution of prize money. A check will be awarded to the composer(s) upon successful completion of items b and c below.
    2. Agreement of rights. The composer(s) will be required to sign a form confirming the understanding of the “Rights & Prizes” section below, and provide biographical information.
    3. Final version of score(s). The composer(s) must provide a new pdf of their winning score bearing both the composer’s name and the dedication as listed in the “Rights & Prizes” section below.

Rights & Prizes 

  • $300 prize for the winning high school student composition, and $500 prize for the winning collegiate student composition.
  • WCDA will grant access to the winning composition(s) (for download, print, and performance) to all WCDA members for a limited period (not to exceed 1 year) following the awards announcement. Use of the winning composition(s) is restricted to live performances, unless the composer specifically grants permission to do otherwise.
  • The following dedication must be included in all manuscript and published editions of the winning composition(s): “Winner of the 2023 WCDA Student Choral Composition Contest”
  • Winning composer(s) will be asked to provide photo & biographical information for publicity purposes. WCDA will have the right to use the composer’s name and composition title in future WCDA communications.
  • Winning composer(s) may be asked to be present for an award announcement, whether in person or virtual, and at their own expense.
  • Composer(s) will retain copyright ownership, and all publication rights.

Contact Information 

Entries and questions can be emailed to:

Brad Burrill
WCDA Student Choral Composition Contest Chair:

[email protected]