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ANCA Composition Competition - THE RESULTS ARE IN!

Wed Apr 17 2019

ANCA recently held its Inaugural Composition Competition to encourage and support Australian Composers. The results are in and winners were officially announced at Choralfest 2019.


Open section for chamber choir

Criteria:  Entries were to be A capella or with piano accompaniment, with a maximum of 9 minutes duration.


2nd PlaceComposer: Joshua Adams. Title of Piece: Come to Me in My Dreams

1st PlaceComposer: Bryan ConnellTitle of Piece: Secret Music


Poem by Siegfried Sassoon (1886 – 1967)
Secret Music was written in 1916 when Siegfried Sassoon was on the Western Front in Flanders.
The words “Secret Music” do not appear in the original poem except for the title, and have used the title as a ‘chorus’ between the setting of each of the three stanzas and to introduce and finalise the piece.
Secret Music wanders through different tonalities. However, the chord progressions, particularly from bar 23 onwards, are intended to create a sense of growth and wonder.
Ideally, this work requires a large, but well controlled choir to realise the dynamics and nuance of the writing – a choir that can sing gloriously beautiful pianissimos would be ideal. The sound in the quiet passages should have a mysterious, shimmering quality. Voices should be strong but not strident in the louder passages. The use of vibrato and ‘operatic’-style voices should be totally avoided.


Primary School Choir or Children’s Choir

Criteria:  Entries had to be accompanied by piano and have a maximum of two vocal parts. Duration of these pieces were a maximum of 4 minutes.


3rd PlaceComposer: Katherine Ruhle. Title of Piece: A Beautiful, Sparkling Diamond

2nd PlaceComposer: Russ Bauer. Title of Piece: Horses, Camels & Kangaroos

1st PlaceComposer: Glyn Lehmann.  Title of Piece: Giant Of The Forest


In the south-west of Tasmania a massive Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans) stands 100 metres tall. It is the world’s second tallest tree and the tallest flowering plant. For five hundred years it has survived fires and evaded the saws of humans – unlike other trees that were even taller. It was given the name Centurion, because it was the one-hundredth of the giant trees to be registered. The name however, perfectly embodies not just its height but also the character of this majestic survivor.

The song traces Centurion’s journey from a tiny seed, just 2 millimetres, striving to reach up into the light from the forest floor and to send its roots deep into the soil below. After five centuries it continues to grow. When finally its life ends, through the wonder of regeneration its seeds will take root and continue the legacy of the mighty Centurion – giant of the forest.


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‘New Choral Composition Prize accepting entries’

 Bel a cappella’s inaugural Prize takes Australian music travelling

 Sydney chamber choir Bel a cappella will mark Music Director Anthony Pasquill’s 10 year anniversary with the choir with a tour to Russia and the Baltic in 2021. In early April they launched an initiative linked to the tour that promises to showcase new Australian music to the world.

The Bel a cappella Choral Composition Prize will award 3 Australian composers $1500 each for original a cappella choral works for up to 8 voice parts.  

Each of the 3 winning works will have its world premiere in one of the cities in the 2021 tour (to be chosen by the awarded composer), including St Petersburg, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallin and Riga. Their Australian premiere will be at the next concert Bel performs upon their return to Australia.

Pasquill believes that Australian choral music certainly has the capacity to match the depth and breadth of that being composed and performed in the traditional choral music countries of northern Europe and this Prize will give him and Bel a cappella the opportunity to demonstrate that.

Choir president Bruce Watson says, "When we launched our fundraising campaign for this Prize we were excited about creating an opportunity to bring new Australian choral music to the world. Now we also know we'll be supporting some local composers through this terrible time when so much work for musicians has vanished." 

Bel a cappella believes their Choral Composition Prize will make a big difference to composers in this difficult time for the Arts across the globe, providing both a sense of creative purpose and significant prize money to the three awarded composers.

Bel a cappella Choral Composition Prize

ELIGIBILITY: The Prize is open to any individual who is a permanent resident of Australia or Australian citizen. There is no age limit.



A panel of jurors will review entries and award the 3 Prizes on July 31, 2020

Information/ Web:

Contact: Pepe Newton | Publicity Officer |  | m 0412 548 703

See the attached flyer for more information. 



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