Composition Contest

Announcing the 2019

Choral Composition Contest

Win $1000 for your choral composition!!

Illinois composers with a creative voice and clear compositional ability are invited to submit works for SATB or SAB voices to Illinois-ACDA’s annual Choral Composition Contest. The winning composition will be premiered at the Illinois-ACDA Summer Re-Treat, Summer 2019. In addition, winning composers are invited to display their works at our annual Summer ReTreat.

Entries for the 2018 IL-ACDA contest will be accepted from now until April 1st, 2019. Details and forms for submitting your work can found on the following links:

The deadline for the 2019 IL-ACDA Choral Composition Contest will be April 1, 2019.  The required voicing for 2019 will be SAB or SATB.



2018 IL-ACDA Composition Contest Winner

Congratulations to Robert Applebaum of Menlo Park, California, winner of the 2018 IL-ACDA Choral Composition Contest for his marvelous piece for SSAA choir, “Rain Music”.

Email the composer directly at for purchasing information.

Composer Profile:

For many years, music was an abiding love but a professional sideline for Bob Applebaum (b. 1941), who taught physics and chemistry at New Trier High School, Winnetka, IL from 1965 until his retirement in June 2000.

Applebaum’s secular and non-secular choral music has received frequent performance in concert settings throughout the USA by a variety of vocal ensembles, including the Halevi Chorale Society, the Chicago Children’s Choir (who sang Applebaum’s setting of V’ahavta at the 2000 White House holiday concerts), the Chicago Institute of Music Chorale, the Evanston-based a cappella group Coriolis, and the Pacific Mozart Ensemble (Berkeley, CA). In 2015 and 2016 his settings of Shakespeare texts were performed on programs in the USA and Europe. The Acappellago ensemble (based in Oakbrook, IL) has premiered his pieces over the years, including a suite of Christina Rossetti poems in 2006 as well as five color-themed pieces on their March 2018 programs. Often his sets of humorous theatrical rounds are included on programs by the Rogers Park and Humboldt Park Children’s Choirs. His settings of Jewish texts have often been featured at the Zamir North American Summer Choral Festival (New York) and many settings have found their way into liturgical use at synagogues coast to coast.

Chicago a cappella included two of his Chanukah pieces on their 2002 CD Holidays Live!, three of his settings of Shakespeare texts on their highly acclaimed 2005 Çedille release, Shall I Compare Thee?, and his setting of Im ein ani li, mi li on their 2011 release Days of Awe and Rejoicing.

Applebaum self-publishes the bulk of his choral work; about 50 of his pieces are published by E.C. Schirmer, Transcontinental Music, and Hal Leonard.

As a jazz pianist/composer he has three albums to his credit: Hora and Blue (with the Modern Klezmer Quartet, on the Global Village label, 1993), The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree (jazz piano duos with his son Mark Applebaum, on the Innova label, 2002), and Friday Night Jazz Service (2007).

More information may be found at


Past Recipients of the IL-ACDA Composition Contest include:


2017 ~ Andrew Bruhn Songs from Luke Listen here!
2016 ~ Deanna Witkowski Where Shadow Chases Light (SSAA) See the premiere!
2015 ~ Richard Rossi O Sacrum Convivium (SATB) See and hear the score!
2014 ~ Philip Spencer Tune Thy Music to Thy Heart (SSA)
2013 ~ Tim Blickhan Life Has Loveliness to Sell (SATB)
2012 ~ Edwin Childs On Wings of Prayer (SSAA, piano)
2011 ~ Wayland Rogers When Daisies Pied (SATB)
2010 ~ Donald Frasier In Moonlight (TTB)
2009 ~ Karen Ball A Light Exists In Spring (SATB, piano)
2008 ~ Edwin Childs Peace (SSA, piano)
2007 ~ Paul Carey Thou Art the Sky (SATB, piano) Roger Dean 15/2430R
2006 ~ Christopher Walters Weary with Toil (SATB, unaccompanied) Colla Voce 15-96040
1999 ~ Anne Heider Jesous Ahatonnia: A Huron carol (TTBB, piano)
1998 ~ Paul Steg Vocalise (SATB)
1996 ~ Bart Bradfield To The Thawing Wind (SATB, piano)
1995 ~ Clyde Thompson Three Dickinson Poems (SSA, piano, flute)
1994 ~ Joel Ross Sweet Was the Virgin Song (TTBB, harp)
1993 ~ Mark Ray Hollman Hope is a Thing with Feathers (SAB, piano)
1990 ~ Ellen Keating Ave Maria (SSA) Mark Foster MF922
1985 ~ Lee Kesselman Two Meditations on Yeats (SATB)
1984 ~ Michael Kosch spring! may… (SATB, divisi)