Monday, January 22, 2024

Harmonium's 2024 NJ High School choral composition contest now open



WHEN: deadline is March 18, 2024
WHO: NJ High School Students

To encourage young composers and keep the choral arts vibrant, Harmonium Choral Society invites NJ high school students to submit a new choral work to its 27th annual Choral Composition Contest by the March 18, 2024 deadline. 

Entrants must create an original four-part composition setting to music a poem on the theme of bravery choosing from a selection of texts provided on our website at the link below. The piece can be in any style or genre, a cappella or with piano accompaniment, expressing what “BE BRAVE” means to you.

Artistic Director Dr. Anne Matlack says, “I am excited to include seven poems written by Her Words students from the Morris School District as well as four poems in the public domain. The Her Words students wrote their own poems about what “BE BRAVE” meant to them. I hope they inspire you!”

Each entry will receive constructive feedback from a panel of judges. The winner earns a $1,000 prize and a premiere performance of their work by Harmonium in June.  Over the years, students from 40 different NJ high schools and one home-schooled student have submitted entries.  Nine juniors, two sophomores, and last year, a freshman, have won the contest. 

Early contest submissions will receive feedback from composer-in-residence Martin Sedek, a former judge, with the opportunity to revise their piece before the final deadline.

Her Words is a creative arts and mentoring program offering free workshops in the arts, expressive writing, and wellness for underserved teen girls and gender-expansive youth ages 11-16. They share their stories, shape their future, and are empowered to create change in their lives and communities. Her Words is a partnership program between Morris Arts and Morris School District.

Learn more about Her Words at:

Find contest details, registration, required text, and tips from the judges at:

Funding has been made possible in part by Morris Arts through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.


One of New Jersey's leading choral arts organizations, the 100-voice chorus is directed by Dr. Anne Matlack and based in Morris County. Harmonium is widely recognized for its eclectic programming, choral excellence, and community spirit. To advance the choral arts, Harmonium has commissioned new works and has sponsored a high school composition contest for more than twenty-five years. This innovative program won the prestigious Chorus America Education and Outreach Award. A subset of the chorus performs in schools and senior living facilities.

Learn more at