Cape Breton Chorale Composition Competition

The Cape Breton Chorale is celebrating its 50th Anniversary Year! As part of the 2023-2024
season, we are inviting submissions for our first competition for young composers.
The deadline for submissions is October 16, 2023. The winning submission will be performed in
December of the 2023-2024 season at our concert, Christmas with the Cape Breton Chorale.\

Prize Amount: $1500

About the Cape Breton Chorale
The Cape Breton Chorale has been an important choral ensemble in Nova Scotia since 1973,
when Sr. Rita Clare (1933-2017) founded the choir. The choir has championed and premiered
well-known SATB choral arrangements of Cape Breton songs including Song for the Mira, We
Rise Again and others. For more information on our choir history and to hear our recordings:

Eligibility and Guidelines for Submission
This competition is open to Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and landed immigrants
who are 35 years of age or younger. Submissions must not be previously commissioned,
performed, or published.

The work must be original, not an arrangement of an existing work. We encourage an individual
creative approach to choral writing that suits our ensemble well. The submissions will be
adjudicated by a panel from the Cape Breton Chorale organization.

Composers should choose their own text, either a sacred text based on an aspect of the
Christmas tradition or one that expresses universal, seasonal, and/or holiday themes. Texts
must be approved for public performance and recording or be in the public domain. Composers
are responsible for securing permission from text copyright holders.

Length, Instrumentation, and Voicing

  • Submissions should be 3-6 minutes in length.
  • While there may be some a cappella sections, a piano accompaniment should be included.
  • Solo(s) for soprano, alto and/or tenor may be included.
  • SATB choir of approximately 40 singers. Soprano and Alto parts may include divisi.
  • An additional instrument part may be included.
  • Score Preparation
    Scores must be clearly legible and may be handwritten or formatted with notation software.
    Submissions should be presented in open score format, with accompaniment set below the
    vocal parts. Closed score should only be used for sections with purely homophonic textures.
    Instrument part(s), if applicable, should be included in the score above the vocal parts in
    concert key. A separate instrument part in the correct instrument transposition must also be

Submission Instructions
There is no entry fee for this competition.
Include the composer’s name, contact information, and title of work in the body of the email.
Only the title of the work and text author (if different from composer) should be included as
part of any attached file.
Example: Christmas in Cape Breton.2023.pdf
The adjudication panel will see the anonymous scores. Composer identity will remain hidden
from the panel until after the selection has been made.
Submit the score, any applicable instrument part, and/or text sheet (translations are
appreciated, if applicable) of the completed work in PDF file format via email to the address
included below. Include a letter of permission for use of the text, if applicable.
The inclusion of a notation software demo recording (mp3 or wav format) is appreciated but
not required.

Please submit files to:
Selection, Awards, Performance
The organization will identify the winning composer and notify them by phone and/or email on
or before November 1, 2023.

An honourable mention may be declared. In this case, we may ask the composer’s consent to
perform their piece in December 2023 along with the winning composition.
A live performance of the winning composition will take place on December 17, 2023. The
composer will receive a live recording of the piece within 60 days of the performance.