Aural Compass Projects Accepting Submissions to 1st Annual Emerging Composer Competition

By Chris Ruel

Aural Compass Projects invites emerging composers to submit art song compositions for a chance to win a $250 cash prize and the opportunity for the work to be produced, performed, and recorded as part of a future ACP project.

The music organization’s 1st Annual Emerging Composers Competition opened for submissions on September 1 and will close at 11:59 p.m. ET on December 1, 2020. Eligible compositions need to have been written after September 1, 2019 and pieces should be composed for solo voice, a cappella, or accompanied by 1-2 instruments. Compositions must be no less than three minutes long.

The competition is open to student composers of all ages studying in university programs or privately.

ACP  spotlights art song’s power to bring healing and restoration. Founded by pianist Michael Lewis, ACP’s website states the organization “strives to foster and develop a solid moral compass which guides our work in advancing towards equality and better representation in the arts.”  The 1st Annual Competition encourages emerging composers to engage in and consider art song in a culturally meaningful way. Compositions should focus on a topic that the composer believes is underrepresented in classical music.

Composers are encouraged  to source text from within their local communities. Text found within the public domain or written by the composer will be accepted, as will copyrighted texts provided the composer secure clearance from the owner. If the language of the text is other than English, a translation needs to accompany the submission.

ACP will announce winners in January 2021. To submit to ACP’s inaugural competition, click here.

Past ACP projects include “Songs of the Rainbow,” a celebration of LGBTQ+ composers; “Songs Without Borders,” featuring composers and performers who are American immigrants and refugees; “Much Has Fallen Silent,” a recital honoring the lives and works of five Jewish composers who were affected by the Holocaust; and “Lift Every Voice,” a festival of songs written by African-American composers.