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Thrilling new Providence-based chamber choir Ensemble Altera (Altera) is sponsoring a composition competition to showcase the work of up-and-coming choral composers. The work will be audio & video recorded as part of Altera’s Covid memorial “We Remember” project, taking place in mid-July. If in-person performances are permitted at that point, the work will be premiered to a live audience at our “We Remember” event. There is a cash prize of $500 awarded to the winner, whose work will be promoted in local and national press and on social media.



  1. A new work for unaccompanied mixed choir, up to eight voice parts will be allowed (i.e., SATB, SSATB, SATBB, SSAATTBB, etc.)

  2. The text of the composition should be primarily derived from the poem, titled “For the Beauty of the Earth,” by Folliott S. Pierpont. The piece must include at least verses one, two & four, which best reflect the theme.

  3. The musical ideas should reflect the larger project goal, which is a program of remembrance, uplift and healing in the wake of the Covid year.

  4. The total duration should be no shorter than three minutes and no longer than six minutes.


Beyond the music quality of the submission, the judging committee will consider a number of criteria, none dispositive, in evaluating each submitter holistically, as it accords with the Covid focus of the program. These criteria include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Artists from communities and backgrounds most deeply impacted by Covid;

  • Those who have personally felt the effects of Covid; and

  • Those whose work expresses the demographic diversity of those impacted by the pandemic. 



All materials must be received by June 15th, 2021 to be considered. Competitors will be notified in writing by June 30th, 2021 if they are successful, and may discuss with Altera any edits or modifications to the work in advance of premiering it. Please send the following to, along with an application fee of $20 to Altera's PayPal. 

  1. A .pdf version of the complete choral work, and, if possible, a recording of the work (such as a midi sequence);

  2. A cover letter detailing what this project means to you/your community, and if/how Covid has affected you personally; and

  3. A biography and CV of any relevant/recent compositional activities; however, rest assured Altera is committed to supporting emerging and untested voices. We enthusiastically invite and entertain submissions without prejudice to prior experience.