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2015-16 Women Composer Commissioning Program Competition

Melodia Women’s Choir, New York’s premier ensemble for women’s choral music, is excited to announce its third Women Composers Commission Competition, an open invitation to U.S.-based women composers of any musical background to apply for a commission opportunity to create a new work for Melodia and women’s voices. A commission fee of $2,000 will be awarded.

Led by Artistic Director Cynthia Powell, the ensemble has been exploring, creating, and performing rarely heard music through collaborations with award-winning women composers and leading instrumentalists for twelve seasons. Melodia’s commitment to bringing new works for women’s voices by female composer’s to the fore of the choral scene is responsible for the world premiere of eight original commissioned pieces from eight musically diverse composers since the start of the program in 2006. 

Women composers based in the U.S. from any musical background are invited to submit an application for one commission to compose a new work for women’s voices and up to five instruments, 8 to 12 minutes in length.  

Eligible applications will be reviewed by a panel of composers and musicians in June 2015. The panel will select one composer who will receive a $2,000 commission fee to compose an original work, which will premiere in 2016, performed by Melodia, and conducted by Cynthia Powell.

For details on applying, please see the sidebar to the right or visit

Melodia Women’s Choir has brought an adventurous, fresh, and wideranging repertoire that explores rarely heard and stylistically diverse works to New York audiences since 2003. Called “riveting” by the New York Times and hailed by composers such as Meredith Monk, Melodia is committed to nurturing emerging women composers through commissions, residencies, and performances.

The deadline for applications is April 15, 2015. All eligible applications will be reviewed by a panel of composers/ musicians in June 2015. The panel will select one composer who will receive a $2,000 commission fee to compose a work for the choir. The new work will premiere in 2016, conducted by Cynthia Powell, Artistic Director. Composers who have received prior commissions from Melodia are not eligible.

A work for women’s choir and up to five instruments, to be performed by Melodia and an instrumental ensemble in 2015/16.

  • A 1-2 page cover letter describing your background in music and composing, and why you would like to compose a piece for Melodia. In the heading of the letter, please include your name, mailing address, phone number, and email address.
  • MP3 files of two original works in contrasting styles; at least one of the pieces must be a choral or vocal work. MIDI files are accepted but not preferred. If files are too big to email, please submit a link to via Dropbox.
  • Your résumé or CV

Jenny Clarke, Executive Director subject line:
2015 Composer Competition and your name

Allison Sniffin (2006), Becca Schack (2007), Chris Lastovicka (2009), Becca Stevens (2010), Christina Whitten Thomas (2011), Sally Lamb McCune (2012), Nina Siniakova (2013), Errollyn Wallen (2014)

Copyright © 2015 Melodia Women's Choir of NYC, All rights reserved.

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