2020 Competition

Deadline Extended:  2020 NewWorks choral composition competition!

“The DaCapo Chamber Choir has just completed a three-year programming cycle focusing on the “road to refuge,” which ultimately means the search for a new and safe home. For the 2020/21 season we are broadening the way we think about “home,” and extending that idea to a global level. Composers are asked for submissions that will contribute to such a concept, works that will relate in some way to environmental and/or ecological realities, concerns, or celebrations.”– Leonard Enns, conductor

The DaCapo Chamber Choir announces the 11th annual NewWorks choral composition competition. The winning entry will receive a $1,500 cash award and a performance by the DaCapo Chamber Choir under director Leonard Enns, in the 2020/2021 season. Entry deadline is now Friday May 29, 2020.

Young composers (25 and under) are also encouraged to submit compositions for consideration in our new Young Composers Reading Sessions.


About the Competition | Composition Guidelines | Deadline | Prize | Notification | Eligibility | Submission Procedure | Other important notes | Young Composers Reading Sessions | entry form | Previous winners | NewWorks Sponsors


About the Competition

The DaCapo Chamber Choir, founded in 1998, is dedicated to choral music of the 21st and late 20th centuries. The NewWorks competition, as one expression of this mandate, fosters new and engaging choral works by Canadian composers.
For a list of some of the selections previously performed by the choir, please visit our “Previous Seasons”.

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Composition Guidelines

  • the submitted composition must be related to the theme of environmental and/or ecological realities, concerns, or celebrations; traditional liturgical texts are to be avoided
  • a cappella SATB, with divisi in some/all parts permitted
  • a single work, 4 to 6 minutes in length (i.e. do not submit a work with multiple movements)
  • any language is permitted, but any non-English texts must include a translation
  • submissions must be original compositions; arrangements are not acceptable
  • submissions may not have been published, commissioned, or previously performed
  • entries from previous years are not eligible for resubmission
  • more than one entry may be submitted, but each entry must include a separate entry form and fee ($25 each)
  • the composer’s name must not appear anywhere on the score
  • the copyright for the composition remains with the composer

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  • electronic submissions (PDFs) are preferred and must be received by Friday May 29, 2020 or earlier
  • entry form, fees, and any scores not submitted electronically must be postmarked by Friday May 29, 2020 or earlier

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  • $1,500 plus travel expenses to Kitchener-Waterloo for the winning composer to attend the premiere
  • the winning composition will be featured in one of the main series concerts of the 2020/2021 season
  • to receive the award, the winning composer must commit to attend the dress rehearsal and the premiere concerts (normally this is a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday commitment)

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  • winners will be notified in summer 2020, with an official announcement made before September 2020.

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  • Canadian citizen or landed immigrant residing in Canada
  • current DaCapo choir members or Board members are ineligible
  • the winner of NewWorks must wait two years before again submitting a work to the competition

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Submission Procedure

  • scores must be created with notation software or neatly hand-scored. All scores must be in copy-ready format.
    Electronic composition submissions are preferred and will be accepted in PDF format ONLY
  • the composer’s name, and any other identifying marks, MUST be removed from the score
  • a piano reduction should be supplied only where warranted
  • text must appear beneath all staves of choral parts
  • include a copy of the text in its original layout, including the name of the play/sonnet
  • electronic scores must be submitted, in PDF format, to info@dacapochamberchoir.ca by Thursday April 30, 2020
  • a completed, signed entry form and $25 entrance fee must be submitted (emailed or postmarked) by Friday May 29, 2020 or earlier. The choir will accept scanned forms and e-transfers (sent to info[at]dacapochamberchoir.ca with password NewWorks2020) or original forms and cheques/money orders, (payable to DaCapo Chamber Choir) mailed to:
    DaCapo Chamber Choir
    PO Box 40035
    Waterloo Square PO
    Waterloo, ON N2J 4V1

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Other important notes

  • please do NOT staple or bind in any way; use separate, numbered, 8.5×11 sheets of paper; portrait, not landscape, orientation
  • do not send recordings
  • incomplete applications will be neither considered nor returned
  • application materials will not be returned
  • the DaCapo Chamber Choir will retain the right to produce the first recording of the winning composition for three years after the competition deadline
  • DaCapo retains the right of first performance for one year (from the date of prize announcement) of any works that are NewWorks winners, honourable mentions, or YCRS selections
  • the DaCapo Chamber Choir reserves the right not to award a prize

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Young Composers Reading Sessions

Composers, aged 25 and younger (as of Friday May 29, 2020) are invited to submit compositions for consideration in our Young Composers Reading Sessions (YCRS). During the 2020/2021 season, DaCapo will host a public workshop at which compositions will be read by the choir in the presence of the composers. Composers will have opportunity to interact with the conductor and choristers in an effort to continue to refine their compositional craft. Compositions submitted to YCRS may also be entered into the NewWorks competition.

Submission guidelines and procedures are the same as for the competition, but there is no $25 entrance fee.

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The DaCapo Chamber Choir gratefully acknowledges the support of:

  • Wallenstein Feed Charitable Foundation
  • City of Kitchener
  • City of Waterloo