Society for New Music


Brian Israel Award

The Society for New Music and the New York Federation of Music Clubs sponsor the annual Brian M. Israel Competition open to composers living in New York State who are 30 years of age or younger as of May 1, whose music has not previously been performed by the Society. Composers may submit one work for 1-7 performers, in any combination, and may include tape or solo voices, but no choral pieces. Two $750 awards are made. Also, each of the two prize-winning compositions will be performed by the Society for New Music during the following season. Scores and tapes must be submitted anonymously by May 1.

For complete guidelines, please see, or contact:
Sam Pellman, Chair
Brian M. Israel Prize
Music Department
Hamilton College
198 College Hill Rd.
Clinton, NY 13323

so who's brian israel?

Brian Israel, 1951-1986, a pianist, composer, and conductor who performed with the Society for New Music for many years, received his MFA and DMA degrees from Cornell University. A native of the Bronx, he studied with Lawrence Widdoes, Ulysses Kay, Robert Palmer, Burrill Phillips and Karel Husa. He joined the Syracuse University School of Music faculty upon completion of his graduate studies, and remained there until his untimely death from leukemia at age 35. He was a popular and much-loved professor. A prolific composer, Brian won several awards and received numerous commissions, among them a commission from the Society for New Music. Several of his works have been recorded on Spectrum, Redwood, and Pro-Viva.

other grants

The 2017 Gregg Smith National Choral Composition Contest
Deadline: September 30, 2017

In honor and memory of the historic work of American composer/conductor Gregg Smith and the Gregg Smith Singers, the Syracuse University Setnor School of Music, Department of Choral Studies is pleased to announce the 2017 Gregg Smith National Choral Composition Contest. This is a biennial event with the specific Syracuse University Setnor School of Music choral ensemble named for each contest.

The award: Award-winning composer will receive a $1,325 prize. The selected composition will be premiered April 4, 2018 at 8:00 pm in the Setnor Auditorium of Crouse College on the Syracuse University campus. Travel expenses to the premiere are the responsibility of the prize recipient.

Composer age limit: Composer must be 21 to 35 years of age at the time of submission.

Due date: Scores must be postmarked no later than September 30, 2017.

Choir to present the premiere for Spring 2018: The Syracuse University Singers conducted by Dr. John Warren. The Syracuse University Singers is the flagship choral ensemble at Syracuse University and is comprised of 34 auditioned undergraduate and graduate students, mostly majoring in music. The University Singers have recently won the Grand Prix de Florilège de Tours, France, and competed in the European Grand Prix in Varna, Bulgaria.

Submission criteria:
* 3-4 minutes duration
* Unpublished and unperformed works only
* SATB a cappella or accompanied by piano or organ; additional instruments optional
* Rights to texts must be cleared, and evidence of copyright holder's permission must be shown.
* Composer will retain the copyright of the piece.
* May be secular or sacred
* The SU Department of Choral Studies will retain winning manuscript for future performances.
* The composer must reside in North America.
* Composer must include a biography, list of works, and proof of age (copy of driver’s license, passport, etc.) with submission.

Please include your name, email address, postal address, and phone number(s) in a sealed envelope together with your score. Size of manuscript must not exceed 8-1/2" x 14". No scores will be returned unless a self-addressed mailer and postage are provided. The winner will be notified by October 30.

Submit to:
Gregg Smith Choral Composition Contest
Department of Choral Studies
215 Crouse College
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY 13244-1010

For additional information, contact, 315-443-4106.

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