Conceived as a response to the difficult times recently facing our world, and choral art in particular, the Genesis Prize is a new initiative of ACDA’s Composition Initiatives Standing Committee. The prize seeks to stimulate art emerging from crisis by funding both composers and poets to create new choral works that speak to our time with voices of comfort, hope, peace, and justice.
On September 15, 2020, the winners were announced from 65 entries from across the U. S. and abroad:
- Carlos Cordero and Julie Flanders, for their proposed piece Holding Our Breath. An a cappella SATB work (with other voicings) exploring the worldwide need and fear to breathe together right now, using the lens of breath itself to help transcend the virus, the social wounds of racism, and the deep, healing urgency to breathe and sing together again to help heal the suffering of our times.
- Kyle Pederson and Brian Newhouse, for their proposed piece Call Across, for SATB choir with piano, djembe, and optional hang drum. Three characters from around the world call across physical space, history, and silence—seeking to break out of their particular form of isolation—giving voice to the elemental human need for connection.
These composer/poet pairs will receive a commission fee to write their pieces by mid-January 2021. ACDA will then promote these winning works through available means in the future, including possible online and/or live readings or performances.
The judges for the prize also chose to recognize four ranked runners-up and seven other finalists, whose proposal summaries are posted at https://acda.org/about-us/awards-competitions/acda-genesis-prize/. The judges and the Composition Initiatives Committee heartily recommend all of these composer-poet pairs and their proposed works.
We encourage any choir, patron, or entity interested in commissioning new music for choirs to peruse these proposals and contact one or more of them (via the provided contact info) for further details. We are funding the two winning pairs, but our goal is to see all of the proposals funded and brought to life, further fulfilling the stated mission of the Genesis Prize.
The ranked runners-up (composer & poet, proposed piece title) are:
- Saunder Choi and Brian Sonia-Wallace (title TBD)
- Joshua Shank and Robert Ressler, To See The Dawn Draw Near
- Laurel Luke Christensen and Michelle Gomez, Sanctuary
- William Averitt and Robert Bode, Summer Dances
The other finalists are (alphabetically):
David Avshalomov and Meredith Kennedy, How Long? Enough!
Philip Biedenbender and Laurie F. Gauger, Dream Another Dream
Katerina Gimon and Lauren Peat, North American Pastoral
Matthew Lyon Hazzard and Jonathan Talberg, Timeless
John Muehleisen and Tyler Griffin Dodge, Rooms
Stacey Philipps and E.M. Lewis, Together Now
Joan Szymko and Kim Stafford, Be the Seed
Contact: Dan Forrest, Chair, ACDA Composition Initiatives Standing Committee www.danforrest.com/contact