American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) has named Duncan Tuomi’s “The Rose That Bare Jesu” the first place winner in the 2021 Raymond W. Brock Memorial Student Composition Competition. Tuomi is a student of choral music in the master of music program at the University of Southern California, studying composition with Dr. Frank Ticheli. His work was selected unanimously by the judges from among the 33 student submissions. University of Houston student Matthew Lyon Hazzard’s “Flight” placed second, University of Missouri student Nathan Lange’s “Invictus” placed third, and North Dakota State University student Isaac Lovdahl’s “O Day” received an honorable mention.
Upon learning of the award, Tuomi reflected, “It is a great honor to be counted as a recipient of first place in this competition alongside names such as Matthew Hazard, Dominick DiOrio, Dan Forrest, Joshua Shank, and many other composers whom I have admired. My deepest gratitude goes out to the ACDA Composition Initiatives Committee for selecting me, as well as to those who have nurtured my love of composition, helped me to grow, and afforded me the opportunity to share my work, especially my parents, Scott and Leslie Tuomi, who helped me fall in love with music as a child and without whom I would not be the musician nor the man that I am today.”
This competition is operated by ACDA’s Composition Initiatives Committee. Dr. Brandon Boyd, a member of the committee and organizer of this year’s competition, stated, “We are proud of all the student composers who submitted for this year’s competition. After this competition, the committee and I are hopeful that choral music will continue to enrich our profession through the musical outputs of professional and student composers. Also, we are thankful to the teachers who encouraged their students to participate.”
Duncan Tuomi (b. 1994) is a Los Angeles, California, based composer/conductor. In recent years, Tuomi has assisted the leadership of numerous middle and high school choral ensembles around the Portland, Oregon, area, most notably the Tsunami Chorus of the Pacific Youth Choir, worked as a soloist with Portland’s Bach Cantata Choir, and served as the Tenor/Bass Repertoire and Resources chair for Oregon’s chapter of ACDA. He holds a bachelor of music degree in vocal music education from St. Olaf College, where he studied under Dr. Anton Armstrong and Dr. Christopher Aspaas, among many others. He has also worked as a section leader with the Corvallis Repertory Singers, and as a performer with Eugene Opera.
As a composer, Tuomi has had works premiered by the Pacific University Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Scott Tuomi, and the University of Portland Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Michael Connolly, and was commissioned to compose for the 10th annual Brothers, Sing On! Tenor/Bass Choir Festival in 2018. He has also had works performed by numerous high school-aged ensembles throughout the United States.
“The Rose That Bare Jesu” will be performed at ACDA’s Western Region Conference March 2-5, 2022, in Long Beach California. Tuomi also receives a cash prize and will be in attendance at the performance.
ACDA’s Raymond W. Brock Memorial Student Composition Competition opens every two years with the objectives to acknowledge and reward outstanding high school, undergraduate, and graduate student composers; encourage choral composition of the highest caliber; and promote student activity at ACDA conferences.