In 2000, the Iowa Choral Directors Association, Inc. (ICDA) and the Iowa Composers Forum (ICF) began a collaboration to support the composition of new choral music for Iowa Choirs. This Collaboration has resulted in the commissioning of nine pieces, all of which have received their premiers at the ICDA Summer Convention and Symposium, and which have been made available to ICDA members for their use, without charge, for one year from the date of the premier. The commissioned works are the result of a composition commissioning contest, in which interested composers submit samples of their choral works, along with a text they propose to set. A panel of two representatives from each of the sponsoring organizations selects a winner, who is then commissioned to write a piece which is performed at both the ICDA convention and the ICF festival.

ELIGIBILITY: Open to any Iowa resident or full-time student at an Iowa institution. One submitted work per composer.

- Submissions may be written with the choral voicing of the composer's choosing.
- Submitted works must be unpublished (self-published is fine).
- Arrangements of pre-existing compositions (e.g., hymns, carols, show tunes, etc.) will not be considered
- Entries may have been previously performed or submitted in other contests, providing that no part of a composition has been a prize-winning entry.
- Compositions can be a cappella or with an accompaniment limited to three instruments (including keyboard).
- Pieces without accompaniment must be scored with a piano reduction.
- Submissions may include an mp3 recording of either midi generated material or live performance.
- Composers may use sacred or secular texts of their choosing. If a copyrighted text is used, a letter of permission from the copyright owner must be included with the submission.
- Eligible composers will submit a pdf of their composition to the address below. The composition must not bear the name of the composer so that judging may be done anonymously. In the body of the e-mail, indicate the name of the person making the submission. No attachments should be larger than 10 MB.
- The winning pieces are to be available for use free of royalty/rental fees by ICDA members and their choral ensembles for one year after the July conference date on which they are premiered.
- Previous winners will not be eligible to compete for a period of five years.

PRIZE: Two prizes of $600 will be awarded each year. The judges will seek to choose two compositions that contrast in style, text, voicing or accessibility. The judges reserve the right to award only one prize or no prize. The winning composition(s) will be performed at the annual ICDA symposium in July 2015.

JUDGES: Two members of ICDA and two members of the ICF will serve as adjudicators for the competition. Judges will not be eligible to enter the competition during the year they are on the judging panel.

DEADLINE: January 2, 2015 postmark deadline for submission
March 1, 2015 winners will be announced.

SUBMIT TO: Norm Grimm


The following composers and pieces have been the result of the commissioning process:

2000-2001 “Maple and Pine” (SATB, flute, bassoon)
Jeffery Prater, Iowa State University
Suitable for advanced high school, college/university, and community choruses

2001-2002 “A Dream Within A Dream” (SATB, piano)
John Armstrong, Baldsville, NY
Suitable for advanced high school, college/university, and community choruses

2002-2003 “Resurrection Circus” (SATB, flute, hand bells)
Richard Smith, Muscatine, Iowa
Suitable for advanced high school, college/university, and community choruses

2003-2004 “The Wind” (SA, piano, flute)
Michael Patterson, Simpson College
Suitable for treble clef chorus

2004-2005 “Psalm 99” (SATB, piano)
William Backlin, Mason City, Iowa
Suitable for advanced high school, college/university, and community choruses

2005-2006 “Set Me As a Seal” (SATB)
John Rommereim, Grinnell, Iowa
Suitable for advanced high school, college/university, and community choruses

2006-2007 “Spring and Fall, to a Young Child” (SATB)
Greg Scheer, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Suitable for High School Choruses

2007-2008 “Wynken Blynken and Nod” (SA)
Ben Kornelis, Sioux Center, Iowa
Suitable for Children’s Chorus

2008-2009 “Fantasia on French Noels” (SATB)
Carl Staplin, Des Moines, Iowa
Suitable for church choirs

2009-2010 “Si, se puede” (SATB)
Brook Joyce, Decorah, Iowa
Suitable for advanced high school, college/university choirs

2011-2012 "Handclap Fingersnap" (by poet William Lyons) (With piano (no instruments) SAC (Cambiata) voicing)
David Evans, Iowa City, Iowa
Suitable for average middle school choruses

2012-2013 "Three Songs of the Night" (S(S)A choir, flute and piano)
Diane Mahoney, Burlington, Iowa (with text written by Diane Mahoney, Mary Machel Mahoney and Megan Mahoney)
Suitable for children's chorus

2013-2014 "When I Awake" (An Anthem for Easter Day) SATB Choir and Organ
Mark Reagan, Iowa City, Iowa
text from Psalm 139: 18, 1-2
Suitable for church choirs

2014-2015 Advanced High School/College/University Choir Commission