The 2024 IL-ACDA Choral Composer Award

The 2024 IL-ACDA Choral Composition Contest is now open for entries. Composers within ACDA’s Midwestern Region (including Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin) with a creative voice and clear compositional ability are invited to enter the annual IL-ACDA Composer Contest.

The winner will receive a $1,000 prize and a premiere performance of their new work by the William Ferris Chorale in Chicago.
Entry Deadline is September 15, 2024

Submission Requirements

  1. PDF of the scores (each as individual documents)
    1. Name/any identifying information should be removed – only this form may have the applicant’s name.
  2. Any additional documentation (text/translation, etc)
  3. (Optional) audio recording of any/all submitted work
    1. live, studio, or midi acceptable (if submitting live recordings, make sure to remove any introduction or portion of the performance that may indicate the composer’s name)
  4. One completed Entry Submission form

Submissions must be received no later than midnight on September, 15, 2024
Email your scores and form to Donald Fraser, IL-ACDA Composer Award Chair
Use subject heading: 2024 IL-ACDA Composer Award

Details for submitting your work can be found with the document below:

Questions and inquiries?
Contact our Choral Composition Chair,
Donald Frasier

2022 IL-ACDA Composition Contest Winner

Philip Spencer of Naperville, Illinois has been named winner of the 2022 Illinois-ACDA Choral Composition Contest for his submission “That Would Be the Day!” for SATB choir. The announcement was made at the recent IL-ACDA Summer Retreat and was accompanied by a $1,000 prize and a recording of the new work sung by all of the attendees. IL-ACDA has held this contest for more than 35 years, with a distinguished list of past winners. This year’s judging committee was a panel of composers and conductors who made Philip’s piece their unanimous choice.

“..eminently singable.” “….musical writing with a relevant lyric message.” “…straightforward and effective voicing…” were some of the judges’ comments.

Listen to the work!
See the score!

Philip is a Professor Emeritus of Music at Joliet Junior College, and Founding Conductor of the new ensemble NaperVoice, a philanthropic choir of professional and amateur singers with the mission “Sing well. Do good.” He is a graduate of Wittenberg University and the Yale University School of Music, with an additional academic year of study in Berlin, Germany and doctoral work in choral conducting at the University of Iowa. His composition teachers include Jan Bender and Heinz Werner Zimmermann. Spencer has previously won First Prize in the prestigious Roger Wagner International Choral Composition Competition at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and was a finalist in the Ithaca College Choral Composition Contest. His compositions have been published by Augsburg Fortress Press and Choristers Guild.

To find out more about ‘That Would Be the Day” and for perusal copies contact Philip direct at or by phone at 630-388-8485.

Past Recipients of the IL-ACDA Composition Contest include:

2020   ~ Cole Reyes               Oh Lord, Support Us (SATB)                    

2019~ William V. MalpedeDue (SATB)Hear “Duet”
See the score
2018~ Robert ApplebaumRain Music (SSAA)
2017~ Andrew BruhnMagnificat and Nunc Dimittis (SATB)Parcelete Press 1940M
Listen here!
2016~ Deanna WitkowskiWhere Shadow Chases Light (SSAA)See the premiere!
2015~ Richard RossiO Sacrum Convivium (SATB)See and hear the score!
2014~ Philip SpencerTune Thy Music to Thy Heart (SSA) 
2013~ Tim BlickhanLife Has Loveliness to Sell (SATB) 
2012~On Wings of Prayer (SSAA, piano) 
2011~ Wayland RogersWhen Daisies Pied (SATB) 
2010~ Donald FrasierIn Moonlight (TTB) 
2009~ Karen BallA Light Exists In Spring (SATB, piano) 
2008~ Edwin ChildsPeace (SSA, piano) 
2007~ Paul CareyThou Art the Sky (SATB, piano)Roger Dean 15/2430R
2006~ Christopher WaltersWeary with Toil (SATB, unaccompanied)Colla Voce 15-96040
1999~ Anne HeiderJesous Ahatonnia: A Huron carol (TTBB, piano) 
1998~ Edwin ChildsThree Poems from the ChineseMark Foster Music 3066
1997~ Paul StegVocalise (SATB) 
1996~ Bart BradfieldTo The Thawing Wind (SATB, piano) 
1995~ Clyde ThompsonThree Dickinson Poems (SSA, piano, flute) 
1994~ Joel RossSweet Was the Virgin Song (TTBB, harp) 
1993~ Mark Ray HollmanHope is a Thing with Feathers (SAB, piano) 
1990~ Ellen KeatingAve Maria (SSA)Mark Foster MF922
1985~ Lee KesselmanTwo Meditations on Yeats (SATB) 
1984~ Michael Koschspring! may… (SATB, divisi)