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TheC7Prize: A choral competition involving composers, conductors and their choirs

TheC7Prize ( is a unique competition open to every enterprising composer in the USA and Canada, and every entrepreneurial conductor and his or her choir the world over.
TheC7Prize is a new, innovative North American (USA and Canada) competition, which mixed-choir conductors everywhere are invited to adjudicate. In return for this, they will have the opportunity to choose new works – possibly premieres – for their choir(s). For their contribution to this groundbreaking competition, conductors participating in TheC7Prize will also be invited to choose fine ‘tried and true’ repertoire that they will receive in freely performable PDF format. Details at include a growing list of conductors who have already signed up for competition adjudication. Note that for 2014 the competition involves SATB choral music; other voicings will be involved in the next TheC7Prize competition. Initial conductor and composer adjudicators for TheC7Prize 2014 include Brady Allred, Hilary Apfelstadt, Dan Forrest, Elise Letourneau, Donald Patriquin, and Cheryl Eisele West. (
American and Canadian composers are invited to enter TheC7Prize as they would a regular composition competition. However, aside from this year’s C7 prize being given for SATB works of up to 5 minutes, there are few restrictions– other than quality! Because of the nature of TheC7Prize, there is no age limit and no specific style requirement; works may be a cappella or piano-accompanied, sacred or secular, arrangements or original. They may be composer-published (although not ‘traditionally’ published), previously performed or not. There is a modest fee, which covers administrative costs as well as displays of all chosen works at National Conferences in the USA and Canada. (Details:
There is a top, donated monetary prize for not-yet-performed works to be chosen by three distinguished American and Canadian choral conductors as being the most appropriate for premiere performance by their renowned choirs.
What TheC7Prize is about: Essentially, the competition is not the usual ‘pyramid’ type (although there are three top prizes), but reflects how conductors choose music. When was the last time a conductor went into a music store – or searched the web – for “the best piece of music you have”? Rather, conductors search through piles of music seeking out that one piece which they feel is particularly appropriate for their needs at that time. And that is what TheC7Prize is all about– choosing well-written, appropriate music. To boot, a premiere may be chosen!  If nothing appropriate is found, that is no problem. If an appropriate work is found, the music is obtained by contacting the composer directly and paying one dollar per copy made from a composer-supplied PDF, and that’s it!
There is, as mentioned above, a bonus – a ‘perk’ – when such a choice is made: a totally free piece of tried and true music in PDF format selected by the conductor. All that’s needed is to print it out! (Details: ‘Role of Conductors and their Choirs’ under Overview at
In a nutshell, TheC7Prize offers:
For composers: many opportunities for performances; a monetary prize.
For conductors and their choirs: excellent music for their performances.

The common element is ‘performance’, and that is the essential aim of this competition– to discover newly written choral music that is suitable for a broad base of choirs ranging from the finest, experienced choirs, to less than perfect, inexperienced ensembles–community, institutional, secular and sacred. Throughout the competition, winning works will be assessed from the point of view of ensemble suitability, accessibility, excellence, effectiveness and potential for wide performance. (
Please look through for complete details, and feel free to contact us at Info(at)theC7prize(dot)com or via ChoralNet.
Hoping to hear from composers, conductors and their choirs in 2014!
Elise Letourneau and Donald Patriquin
TheC7Prize originating conductor-composers
Donald Patriquin initiated the highly successful Canadian ACCC Associated Publishers Award for Choral Composition.