Below is being kept as a history of competitions past.  We hope to return to the task of
organizing international competitions to create new music for our choir to premier.
The 2010-2011 composition contest was not successfully completed.  The response was extremely poor with only one entry received.  The entry received did not meet the needs of the choir so no winner was announced.   We will hold the contest again this year in spring 2011.  I hope to have a larger prize to attract more entries.   Check back for updates after January 1, 2011.
old info below:
It is time for the 2010 Contest!!
Composers, this year we are looking for  a piece for treble choir and electronic accompaniment.  What this means is up to you but we are not looking for something that could be done by a couple of live musicians.  A multimedia production would be most welcome but visual elements are not required.   We have available 2 Mac Duo Intel processor computers with Sibelius 4, CD/DVD players,  digital projector and screen (one that will project to a huge screen in our auditorium and one for a smaller screen,  and two simple synthesizers.   The prize is $200.
Composition requirements:Entries must be received no later than May 1, 2010 .

Must be a new piece composed for this competition.

No arrangements of other works.

Must include copyright permission from author of the text unless

in public domain.

Must be between 1 ½ -4 minutes long.

Must be for treble choir and electronic accompaniment.

A biography must be included.

Be willing to exchange a few e-mails or otherwise communicate

with the choir and director.

Must meet the performance ability and needs of our choir.

Submit entries to: Gifford Children’s Choir

Jack Senzig

8332 Northwestern Avenue

Racine, WI 53406

Notes on vocal ranges and choir ability:
Our Altos can sing well to the Ab below middle C and Sopranos can sing well up to G an octave and a fifth above middle C.   Small groups or soloists could go to Bb above that.   After the WCDA convention on Jan. 15, 2010 I will post the performance on our Myspace so that you can hear the true level of the current choir which is significantly higher than those presently posted.
2009 contest winner:  Harvey Sollberger of Strawberry Point, IA with “From A Balloon”
Update 1/19/2010:  Due to the success the choir experienced at the WCDA convention 1/15/2010 we will be auditioning for the 2011 National Conference of the American Choral Director’s Association in Chicago.  (  The rules for this require no CD or taped accompaniments.   Such pieces will still be accepted and may be performed on our Winter concert 2010.  However, composing a piece with some other interactive electronic accompaniment that requires a human controller of some sort could get your piece national attention if we are selected.   We can only perform 1 piece that is unpublished.   The choir’s performance at the WCDA convention is now available to hear at

Our prize money was donated to Our school by the generous men of the Racine Dairy Statesmen. This marvelous barbershop choir has donated over $40,000 to our district through the proceeds of their annual Holly Days in Harmony Concert. Staff members that work at the concert are awarded funding based on the job they perform. For the 2009 concert I was the Stage manager. I earned a donation of $200 from participating. Not only is the concert a sold out cultural event in our city, it also is a performance opportunity for our school choirs. In 2008 the Gifford Children’s Choir performed on the concert. This was our debut concert for the choir in it’s present form. We received $500 for performing, half went to the 2009 contet prize and half went to pay the musicinas for our 5th grade awards ceremony performance of “Butterflies and Hurricanes”

Gifford Choirs can be seen on the joinchoir channel on YouTube

Gifford Choirs can be heard on our MySpace

Our biggest internet success has been singing the song Still Alive complete with a band and light show:

I will try to provide all entries with a critique if you would like one (as time permits). After critiquing one of the 2009 pieces the composer made changes and we then offered to perform it. It will be premiered on May 2, 2010 at UWParkside. The fine piece was written by Alyssa Rae Severson of Eau Claire, WI. I also petitioned the vocal music staff of Racine to choose a submission by another composer for our annual Area Choir Festival. It was beat out by a piece by local composer Eric Carlson called “One Life Can Make A Difference”. Participation does have it’s benefits.

Composers are welcome to send pieces that do not meet the contest requirements to be considered for programing. Please clearly indicate that it is not a submission. A comment here or an email to would be helpful.


3 Responses to Contest

  1. sarah says:

    i am an old gifford childrens choir member [2008-2009] and was watching the “no suprises” video on youtube and realized that i will miss having you be my music and choir teacher!
    sarah meyer!

  2. This is a neat idea for a contest. What kind of “simple synthesizers” are available to be played by this composition? Would compositions that utilize open source multimedia music programs be considered? I am both a classical and film music composer, as well as, a choir director at a private elementary school. This contest seems seems like an interesting challenge.

  3. joinchoir says:

    I’ll have to get back to you on that. We are out of school until next Monday.

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