Setnor School Announces 2023 Gregg Smith National Choral Composition Contest

In honor and memory of the historic work of American composer/conductor Gregg Smith and the Gregg Smith Singers, the Syracuse University Setnor School of Music’s Department of Choral Studies is pleased to announce the 2023 Gregg Smith Choral Composition Contest.

This is a biennial event with the specific Syracuse University Setnor School of Music choral ensemble named for each contest. The contest seeks to provide an opportunity for young, North American composers to gain exposure and to have their work performed by one of Syracuse University’s choral ensembles.

The award:
The award-winning composer will receive a $1,200 prize. The selected composition will be premiered in Spring 2024 on the Syracuse University campus. Travel expenses to the premiere are the responsibility of the prize recipient. The presence of the winning composer at the premiere is welcomed and encouraged, but not required.

Composer age limit:
Composer must be 21 to 35 years of age at the time of submission.

Due date:
Materials must be postmarked no later than October 31, 2023. Materials submitted digitally will not be accepted.

Choir to present the premiere for Spring 2024:
The Syracuse University Singers directed by Dr. John Warren

Submission criteria:

  • 3-4 minutes’ duration
  • Unpublished and unperformed works only
  • The Syracuse University Department of Choral Studies will reserve the right to the world premiere of the winning piece and to release the first recording of the piece until July 1, 2024.
  • Accessible but challenging SATB a cappella or accompanied by piano or organ; additional instruments optional
  • The Syracuse University Singers is the flagship choral ensemble at Syracuse University and is comprised of approximately 40 auditioned undergraduate and graduate students, mostly majoring in music. The University Singers are an international award-winning mixed choral ensemble that has performed at the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) convention and at multiple Eastern Region ACDA conventions.
  • Rights to texts must be cleared, and evidence of copyright holder’s permission must be shown.
  • Composer will retain the copyright of the piece.
  • May be secular or sacred.
  • The Syracuse University Department of Choral Studies will retain copies of winning scores for future performances.
  • The composer must reside in North America.
  • Composer must include a biography, list of works, and proof of age (copy of driver’s license, passport, etc.) with submission.
  • The winner will need to submit tax forms in order to receive the prize. Taxes may be withheld from winnings.

Please include your name, email address, postal address, and phone number(s) in a sealed envelope together with your score. Size of original scores must not exceed 8.5″ x 14″. A link to a drive containing a pdf score and midi recording included in your envelope is appreciated but not required. No materials will be returned unless a self-addressed mailer and postage are provided. The winner will be notified by January 1, 2024.

Submit to:
Gregg Smith Choral Composition Contest
Department of Choral Studies
208 Crouse College
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY 13244-1010
For additional information contact: