New Voices Project for Composers Under 30

The New Voices Project (NVP) is SFCA’s annual competition for composers under 30. Initiated in 2005, the aim is to encourage the next generation of composers to write music for chamber choir. The  winner receives a $500 cash prize, a world premiere,  and a professional-quality recording of the performance.

The competition is closed for 2022-23 and the guidelines below are for informational purposes only. We will announce the guidelines for the 2023-24 NVP in the fall.  Join our mailing list to be notified of this and other composer opportunities in the future.

We’re excited to introduce this year’s winner, Leah Tracy (24), whose “Herne the Hunter,” excerpted from her Three Shakespeare Songs was chosen for a world premiere on the June 2023 Shakespeare and Friends concert set.

Now based in Denver, CO, the Ohio native graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2021. Her music has already been performed throughout the United States. Visit Leah’s website »

Competition Guidelines

Deadline March 1, 2023

Eligible composers are encouraged to submit new and creative settings of poetry for consideration for a June 2023 concert set entitled Shakespeare & Friends. Poetry may be by Shakespeare or any other poet, living or not, in any language. Poetry written by the composer, however, is discouraged.

Basic Requirements

  1. Composer must be under age 30 as of July 1, 2023.
  2. Composer is responsible for obtaining relevant rights to use copyrighted material.
  3. A composer may submit only one work.

Requirements of the Work

  1. The work should be 2-4 minutes in length, with the length listed on the score.
  2. Preference will be given to works that have not been performed in public, outside of an informal or academic setting.
  3. For SATB a cappella chamber choir. The work may include some body percussion. Any divisi must be limited to no more than 8 parts.
  4. Text may include spoken word, and may be in any language. A typed copy of the full original text, with facing line-by-line English translation, must be provided. If non-standard language(s) are used, a pronunciation guide must be included.
  5. Include a note with your text stating whether it is in the public domain. If texts are copyrighted, written proof of permission of use must be provided. Texts written by the composer are discouraged.
  6. Score and texts should be submitted in PDF format. MP3 files are encouraged in addition to scores. All PDF and MP3 file names should include composer’s name and the title of the work.
  7. The first page of the score (not the title page) must include composer’s name, birth date, and complete composer contact information–including phone number and postal address.

Incomplete submissions will NOT be considered.


Up to three winners will be selected. The first-prize winner will receive $500*. All composer(s) and work(s) selected for participation in this program will receive the following:

  1. The selected work(s) will be premiered by SFCA at concerts in Healdsburg, San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Oakland, California, on June 3, 4, 10, and 11, 2023.
  2. Communication by phone or email with SFCA’s Artistic Director, Magen Solomon (before and/or during rehearsals) on any aspect of the work’s notation, vocal issues, interpretation, and performance.
  3. Two complimentary tickets for each performance of the work.
  4. A professional-quality recording of one performance of the work.

The winning composer is not required to travel to the Bay Area to attend concerts in person. We regret that no travel funds are available.

*SFCA reserves the right to divide the prize money between two winners in the case of a tie.

Please feel free to share this opportunity!

Past New Voices Winners

2020 (premiered 2022)

Cole Reyes, IL
Peyton Trowbridge, IN


Jarred Main, Bellingham, WA


Ash Stemke, Tallahassee, FL


James May, Louisville, KY
Ben Zucker, Lafayette, CA


James Tecuatl-Lee, Oakland, CA


Joseph Taff, San Francisco, CA


1st Place: David Von Kampen, Lincoln, NE
Co-2nd Place: Natalie Bell, Raleigh, NC
Co-2nd Place: Kevin Laskey, Coram, NY
Honorable Mention: Joseph Taff


No submissions qualified for awards


1st Place: Katherine Saxon, Santa Barbara, CA
2nd Place: Daniel Galbreath, Laramie, WY


No submissions qualified for awards


1st Place: Patrick Gullo, East Lansing, MI
2nd Place: Colin Woodford, Granada Hills, CA
3rd Place: Zina von Bozzay, San Rafael, CA


1st Place: Eleanor Aversa, Philadelphia, PA
2nd Place: Nick Vasallo, Santa Cruz, CA
3rd Place: Winton Yuichiro White, San Francisco, CA


1st Place: Kala Pierson, New York, NY
2nd Place: David Philip Norris, Minneapolis, MN
3rd Place: Nathan Heidelberger, Oberlin, OH


1st Place: Peter J. Durow, Tallahassee, FL
2nd Place: Jamie Klenetsky, Wharton, NJ
Honorable Mention: Benjamin J. Williams, Akron, OH


1st Place: Matthew Van Brink, New York, NY


1st Place: Cheng Zhi Anna Huang, Los Angeles CA
2nd Place: Eric Knechtges, Bowling Green, OH
3rd Place: Ted Hearne, New York, NY