2016 Mary Bussman Emerging Female Composer Contest


Twin Cities Women’s Choir (TCWC) seeks original, unperformed compositions from emerging female composers for SSAA choir – either a cappella or with piano accompaniment – that will help us to celebrate our 20th anniversary season. This special season will include two concerts, one in February which looks back over our 20 year history to reflect on our growth, and one in May that will look 20 years into the future to highlight our dreams and visions.

The Mary Bussman Emerging Composer contest winner will have her piece included in the May performances, which are primarily focusing on the theme of envisioning the future. However, we recognize that honoring the past and living in the present are part of creating the future, so themes connecting all points of this continuum would be appropriate.

The composer of the winning piece will receive a cash prize of $1000, an archival recording of the premiere performance in May, 2017, in Minneapolis, MN, and may be featured on a future commercial recording by TCWC.

Application Deadline: Online submission by November 1, 2016.



The Twin Cities Women’s Choir is pleased to announce a choral competition for an emerging female composer in continuation of our mission to affirm the voices of women. Emerging female composers are eligible and encouraged to submit their works for consideration. "Emerging" is defined as someone who is not well known as a choral composer on the national level.


  • $1000
  • live premiere with 2 performances of the work in May 2017, in Minneapolis, MN
  • archival recording
  • may be featured on a TCWC commercial recording

Submission Criteria

  • Applicants must be an emerging (someone who is not well known on the national level) female composer
  • All submissions must be an original composition for SSAA choir, a cappella or with piano accompaniment. Occasional division of the SSAA parts is acceptable.
  • If text is not original, proof of public domain or author’s/publisher’s written permission for use of text is required.
  • Text may be secular or one that could be welcomed in many faith traditions.
  • Performance time of the work should be approximately 3 minutes in length.
  • All submissions must not have been commissioned or previously performed.
  • Online submission of the score and application packet is required. If your score is hand written and scanned in, it must be clearly legible. Illegible copies will not be considered.
  • Email files to: sing@twincitieswomenschoir.org
  • Scores submitted without a complete application packet will not be considered.
  • The deadline for electronic entry is November 1, 2016.
  • The winner will be announced no later than February 1, 2017.
  • The TCWC reserves the right to not award a prize.
  • The decision of the judges is final.
  • Contact Carol Rue at carol.rue@comcast.net with any questions.

Application Packet


  • Composer’s name, phone number, and mailing address
  • Composer’s email address (all communications, including announcement of winner, will be via email)
  • 1 legible copy of the score
  • Proof of permission to use the text, if not original text or proof in the public domain.
  • Biography of composer

Optional, but encouraged:

  • List of composer’s previous choral works and performances
  • Digital recording of the composition, i.e., midi, piano performance of score, etc. A recording is strongly encouraged as the judges appreciate hearing the composer’s interpretation of the composition.