For more than three decades, the Phoenix Chamber Choir has played an integral part in developing young musicians, composers and conductors in Vancouver, and has helped to establish Canada’s West Coast as one of the most important centers of choral music in the world.

With its long-standing history of success in national and international choral competitions and the talent and training of its members, Phoenix Chamber Choir connects deeply with its audiences by sharing world-class musical experiences, and provides invaluable musical opportunities for British Columbian and Canadian choral artists and composers. Phoenix strives for and achieves the highest level of choral performance and audience engagement.

The Phoenix Student Composition Competition exists to support the next generation of choral composers, enriching their composition studies and premiering their works to audiences local and abroad. With exceptional concert programs featuring these world premieres, we offer composers and audiences a commitment to new works that continue to explore and refine the edge of choral practice.

Rules and Regulations

  1. Participation is open to any undergraduate or graduate students.

  2. For this choral competition we invite students to submit one SATB choral composition. The piece will be judged by a 5-member jury consisting of choral conductors, composers and performers.  Special consideration will be given to those pieces that demonstrate excellence in compositional craft, imagination, idiomatic effectiveness, and a fresh approach to choral writing.

  3. All submissions must be electronic, in PDF format.

  4. Deadline for 2023/2024 entry is July 31, 2023. EXTENDED to August 31st, 2023!

  5. Students are not required to be composition majors or music majors.

  6. Must be an original composition and not an arrangement. It must not have been previously commissioned, performed or published.

  7. All works must be a cappella. If the text is not in English, a pronunciation guide (IPA) must be included.

  8. The winning composer’s work will be premiered at Phoenix Chamber Choir’s Spring Concert, in Vancouver, BC. Compositions can take many directions; however, the following parameters must be followed:

    – A cappella for 4-part SATB chorus, with divisi if appropriate
    – Duration of 3-4 minutes
    – For medium to advanced choirs
    – The text must be relevant to the theme of the concert (Celebrating Women’s History Month) and available in the public domain. If not public domain, permission must be obtained in writing from the author or copyright holder of the text and submitted with application.
    – The score and midi recording and rehearsal tracks (individual recordings of each voice, SATB) must be completed and submitted with application.
    – The winning piece must be marked, whenever possible, as the “2023 Winning Entry of the Phoenix Chamber Choir Student Composition Competition” on the music score, cover, and in the concert program.

  9. The composer will be featured in social media and promotional materials prior to the premiere, including a short video of the composer speaking about their piece to be included in an online concert release.

  10. There is no entry fee for the competition.

  11. The jury reserves the right not to award any prize and Phoenix Chamber Choir (PCC) reserves the right not to perform the submitted composition.

  12. Compositions submitted to the competition shall be deemed the Intellectual Property of the submitting composer and any rights relating to this shall remain with the composer. The winner of the competition shall grant PCC the right to premiere the submitted composition. No public performance shall be allowed prior to the premiere performance. PCC shall not pay any fee to the composer for any audio and/or audiovisual recordings of the performance.

  13. The winning composer will receive a professional recording of the premiere of their work.

  14. Participation in the competition implies full knowledge and acceptance of these regulations. PCC does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.

  15. All questions should be directed to Phoenix Chamber Choir,

  16. The winner will receive an honorarium of $500 CAD. The jury’s decision is final.


2022/2023: Kristine Choi, The Herdsman and the Weaver

Kristine Choi is a classically trained pianist and a student enrolled in a dual degree in Bachelor of Music and Education at University of British Columbia. She was the recipient of numerous scholarships, including the Norah Mansell Music Scholarship, June Goldsmith Scholarship in Music, and President’s Outstanding Graduate Award, to name a few. While actively participating in piano competitions, she also sings in the UBC Choir and Vocal Chamber and choir workshops. She gives back to her community through involvement in her church as a piano accompanist and singer, and in community wind ensembles as a flautist. Kristine holds a Piano Teaching Certification from the RCM, instructing piano and theory.

2019/2020: Timothy Cunningham, To Tsampasin

Timothy Cunningham is a composer and vocalist based in Southern California. Deeply rooted in meditative melodies and rich harmonies, his works span several genres, with pieces written for orchestra, choir, chamber ensembles, soloists, and electronic music. His experience lies in choral music, which is evident by the lyrical and expressive sonic properties of all his works. A supporter of collaboration, Cunningham has partnered with other composers, directors, and performers to write film scores, music for theater, pop songs, and concert music alike. With a strong influence from his Greek heritage, Cunningham’s works feature several compositional techniques drawn from the beautiful melodic content of Byzantine chant and the unique texture of Greek folk music. Upon graduation from the University of Redlands, Cunningham plans on pursuing a career in choral conducting and composition.