Stephen Paulus Emerging Composers Compeition


True Concord Voices & Orchestra, Tucson’s Grammy- and Emmy-honored professional chamber choir and orchestra, seeks scores for its seventh annual Stephen Paulus Emerging Composers Competition.


American composers age 18-40 (age as of December 31, 2023)


Submission Deadline: November 30, 2023. Ten finalists will be announced in December; additional composition samples will be requested at this time. A winner will be announced in February 2024.


To enter, please 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 format). Submitted works should be for chorus (SATB, up to double divisi) with or without piano and/or one obbligato orchestral instrument.

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)


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


The selected composer will be commissioned to write a 5-6 minute work for True Concord to premiere during the 2024-25 season (likely in November 2024). The text will be selected in collaboration with the University of Arizona Poetry Center. The commissioned work will be for SATB chorus with or without piano and/or one obbligato standard orchestral instrument.

Congratulations to the winners of past competitions!

2022-23: Nicholas Ryan Kelly

As winner of the 22-23 competition, Kelly was commissioned by True Concord to set a poem by Janet Ruth, winner of True Concord’s inauguaral Poetry Competition. A World that Shimmers was premiered in October 2023.

2021-22: Marybeth Kurnat

Kurnat’s composition, “I, Lover,” was premiered 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.