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Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity Announces $5,000 Grand Prize for Composition


February 04, 2013

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia has a long history of supporting new American music with composition contests. Our first composition contest took place in 1912, and the tradition continued until 1960. At our 2012 Convention, on the hundredth anniversary of our first such effort, we revived our tradition with the announcement of a Composition Contest with a Grand Prize of $5,000.

Who can enter?
Any American citizen, male or female.

What are the piece specifications for entry?
The piece must be a choral composition (TTBB). The piece can be a cappella or include piano accompaniment. Pieces without accompaniment must be scored with a piano reduction for rehearsal. No other instrumental accompaniment is permitted. The duration of the piece must be between 5 and 8 minutes.

The text of the composition may be from any source. An English translation is required for texts in other languages. Pre-existing texts should be in the public domain. Where this is not the case, permission to set a text and publish it subsequently, must be obtained in writing from the author or copyright holder and must be enclosed with the entry form.

What do I submit?
A score: E-mail a pdf file; or, if your entry is mailed, an unbound paper score, 8 1/2” x 11” (or A4), no covers, staples, combs, or wire. The composer’s name must not appear anywhere on the score, nor should any dedications or acknowledgements; the title of the work should appear on the score. (For mailed scores, send only photocopies or reproductions of your score, which we will scan to create a pdf file; your score will not be returned. The applicant should retain the original score.)

An audio recording: Please submit a synthesized recording. E-mail your audio recording as an MP3 audio file or MIDI file, or mail it on a CD. Your entry must be accompanied by a recording. The title of the work should appear on the recording or in its file name. (Send only copies or reproductions of your recording; your recording will not be returned. The applicant should retain the original recording. )

The entry form: All applicants must sign and attach an official Entry Form to your score. If entering by e-mail, print out, complete by hand (using a pen), sign, scan, and send your entry form as a pdf file. Don’t forget to sign your entry. Here is a link to the Entry Form: Composition Contest Entry Form

Optionally, composers are encouraged to submit a brief background statement about their work and any performance notes that they would care to make.

Where do I send my entry?
By mail: Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity, Attn: Composition Contest, 10600 Old State Rd. Evansville, IN 47711.
By email: To the Fraternity’s Director of Programs, Mark Helmstetter, at [email protected].

How is the contest judged?
The competition will be judged by a committee appointed by the National President. Depending on the number of submissions, a preliminary judging committee may be appointed by the National President to narrow down the submissions to be reviewed by the final judging committee. No composer’s identity will be divulged to the jury before or during judging. The decision of the contest committee will be final. Should the committee consider none of the submitted compositions to be meritorious, a “no prize” decision will be rendered.

Strong consideration will be given to a work’s potential for repeated performance. The winning work must demonstrate excellence of composition, ‘sing-ability’ (given reasonable rehearsal time) and idiomatic effectiveness.

What are the prizes available?
• The winning composer will be awarded a $5,000 prize.
• A publishing contract will be offered to the winner, courtesy of Prairie Dog Press.
• A publishing contract may be offered to other entrants, at the discretion of the publisher.
• The winning work will be premiered at the 2015 National Convention by the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Men of Song Chorus. All scores selected for performance will be reproduced by Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and all copies destroyed after the concert.

How are performance and audio reproduction rights handled?
In consideration for the rewards listed above, contestants grant Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia exclusive performance rights through July 31, 2015 and non-exclusive performance rights after July 31, 2015.

Also in consideration for the rewards listed below, contestants grant Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia the following nonexclusive rights through June 30th, 2017:
• Permission to photocopy the score for the use of judges, performers, and Convention attendees
• Permission to make audio and video recordings of compositions
• Mechanical duplication and synchronization rights (i.e. the right to reproduce and sell copies of audio and video recordings) for up to 2000 copies of each submitted work
• Broadcast rights for radio and television performances of compositions
• Permission to post audio and video recordings of compositions on the Internet, which will be available for download.

What is the deadline for submission?
July 1, 2014

Who do I contact with questions?
Please direct additional questions to Mark Helmstetter, Director of Programs, at [email protected].

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From the Desk of:
John A. Mongiovi, National President
[email protected]
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