Oklahoma City, OK: A Florida Southern College student, Kara Stacy, has won the American Choral Directors Association’s (ACDA) 2019 Raymond W. Brock Competition for Student Composers for her composition Shall I Compare Thee?
“I am so incredibly honored to be presented with this award,” said Stacy. “The poem I used reappeared in my life after the tragic passing of a family friend’s son. Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 has often been thought of as simply a romantic poem, but in the context of his own son’s passing, the sonnet takes on the unspeakable grief of a parent mourning their child. Shall I Compare Thee? is rooted in the questions that we ask ourselves when a loved one is taken from us too soon, and the dark setting, which is founded on minor chords, highlights the hopelessness and helplessness of the question What can ever compare to thee?”
The Raymond W. Brock Competition for Student Composers was established in 1998 to acknowledge and reward outstanding student composers, and encourage choral composition at the highest caliber. The competition is administered by ACDA’s Composition Initiatives Standing Committee, which this year also named three runners-up. The first runner up is Jonathan Madden of St. Olaf College for The Lord Is My Light. Second runner up is Christian Orme of Brigham Young University for Hymn to the Night. The third runner up is Gracie Caggiano of Stetson University for her composition The sun kept setting . . .
ACDA Composition Initiatives Committee member Susan LaBarr noted “This year’s competition was the most competitive in recent years, with 26 submissions from student composers from across the United States. The winner and runners up were standouts in a field of high-quality compositions.”
With this award, Stacy receives $1,000 as a cash prize, and will attend ACDA’s Southern Region Conference to be held March 11-14, 2020, in Mobile, Alabama, where her composition will be performed.
Kara Stacy (b. 1998) is a composer, singer, and student based in Lakeland, Florida. She is an incoming senior at Florida Southern College, completing her bachelor’s degree in music education. Stacy has written multiple works for choir, string orchestra, and symphonic orchestra. She has served as the music director for her college’s a cappella ensemble, The Mocappellas, for the past three years and has arranged over forty pieces for the group.