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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 commissions and performances of many new works, all of which have been made available to ICDA members for their use, without charge, for one year.

Open to ICF and ICDA members, Iowa residents, or full-time students at Iowa institutions.  One submitted work per composer.


  • Submissions may be written with the choral voicing of the composer's choosing. Among ICDA members there is particular interest in music for developing choirs of all ages and voicings.

  • Submitted works must be unpublished (self-published is fine).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 ICDA Symposium date on which they are performed. 

  • Previous winners will not be eligible to compete for a period of five years. 

Two members of ICDA 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. 

January 15 – deadline for submission
March 1 – winners will be announced.

A $600 prize will be awarded to one or two winners each year. Judges reserve the right to award no prize if an appropriate piece cannot be selected. The winning composition(s) will be either read or performed at the annual ICDA Symposium in July.​ 


​Composers are asked to provide their email and mailing addresses in the body of the email, as well as confirming the copyright status of the text.​


"Three Basho Haiku"
SATB, a cappella
Lisa Neher, Portland, OR

"A Cloudy Day in April"
SATB, a cappella (vocal jazz)
Hunter Moore, Luther College

"It Couldn't Be Done"
(SATB, piano) (2-pt. also available)
Duane Philgreen, Manchester

"Love Cam Down at Christmas"
(SSAA, a capella)
Chase Shoemaker, Harlan

2017-2018 "On the Beach At Night" (SATB, Piano) John Whitson, Durant

2016-2017 "Hush Thee, My Babie" (SATB, Piano) ​Adam Orban, Glenwood, Iowa

2015-2016  "Jabberwocky" (SATB, divisi, a capella)
​​Dr. Jason Fuemmeler, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
and "O Sing to Me of Heaven" (SATB, divisi, ​Piano)
​Jonathan Kobs, Decorah, Iowa

2014-2015  “Ave Maria” (SATB, ​a capella)
Colin Berry, Waterloo, Iowa
​           and  "Time Is" (SATB, Piano)
Dr. Ben Kornelis, Sioux Center, Iowa

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 

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 

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


2010-2011 "Etchings of Time" (SATB/harp/percussion)

Ralph Kendrick, Cedar Rapids. 

Suitable for average high school choirs.

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

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

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

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

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

2004-2005 “Psalm 99” (SATB, piano)
William Backlin, Mason City, 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

2002-2003 “Resurrection Circus” (SATB, flute, hand bells)
Richard Smith, Muscatine, Iowa
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

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

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