Stephen Paulus Emerging Composers Competition


American composers age 18-40 (age as of July 31, 2022)


Submission deadline: July 31, 2022. Ten finalists will be announced in September; additional composition samples will be requested at this time. A winner will be announced in October 2022.


$2,000 commission for a new work plus $500 travel stipend to attend the premiere.


To commemorate True Concord’s 20th season in 2023-24, our sixth annual Stephen Paulus Emerging Composers Competition will award one selected composer with a commission to write a new work to be performed in the 2023-24 season.

To enter, submit an anonymous pdf score (no composer name or identifying info) of a 5-6 minute choral work with audio (high quality live recordings preferred, MIDI realizations acceptable, mp3 or other compressed audio format). Submitted works should be for chorus (SATB, up to double divisi) with or without piano and/or one obbligato orchestral instrument.

Please send all materials to Please include composer name in the body of your email and name documents as your composition title only – no composer name. (Ex.: PrayersandRemembrances.pdf)


The selected composer will be commissioned to write a 5-6 minute work for True Concord to premiere during the 2023-24 season. The text will be selected via a concurrent poetry contest held in collaboration with the University of Arizona Poetry Center. The winning composer will have input in the poem’s selection process.

Congratulations to the winners of past competitions!

2021-22: Marybeth Kurnat

Kurnat’s composition, “When I Rise Up,” is planned to be performed by True Concord in January 2023 on the program “Here I Am.”

2020-21: Ethan Soledad

Soledad’s composition, “When I Rise Up,” was performed by True Concord in April 2021 in “The Trailblazers,” a program celebrating women creators and game changers.

2019-20: Tom Peterson

Peterson’s composition, “Being Many, Seeming One,” was performed by True Concord on October 2019 in four concerts of music based on Shakespearean texts. His piece sets the text from Sonnet VIII (“Music to hear”), which is the inspiration for True Concord’s name.

2018-19: Martin Sedek

Sedek’s winning work, “The Beauty of Cosmic Things,” was performed by True Concord in November 2018, in three concerts of American music that honored veterans and commemorated the centenary of Armistice Day.

2017-18: Matthew Lyon Hazzard

Hazzard’s winning work, “Look Back on Time,” was performed by True Concord in March, 2018, in four concerts of American music based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson.