AREA 12 COMPOSITION CONTEST
NOTE: Area 12’s Composition Contest will not be held in 2017 due to budgetary financial constraints. Because the Area 12 Board hopes to offer this important program again in 2018, we are leaving the contest rules and information page up on the web site so composers can start early. Our apologies to those musicians and artists who wished to submit something this year. Please check back at this location in the fall of 2017 for an update on the program.
The Handbell Musicians of America Area 12 Composition Contest strives to expand the handbell repertoire with interesting and accessible compositions, while providing a tool for learning and enjoyment at the Area’s biennial conference.
Composition contest applicants are not required to be a member of Handbell Musicians of America (the Guild), nor are they required to reside in Area 12 (California, Guam, Hawaii, and Nevada), but Guild and Area 12 members will be allotted additional points in the adjudication process (see below).
Applicants may submit compositions of any level of difficulty. The adjudication process has allowed for pieces with the broadest appeal and largest audience to be scored higher. Keep in mind the following concepts for divisional mass ringing (under the current Guild difficulty level system):
- Division A: For 2 octaves with significant optional notes for 3 octaves, or for 3 octaves; difficulty level range 1 or 2.
- Division B: For 3 octaves with significant optional notes for 4 and/or 5 octaves, or for 4 octaves or for 5 octaves; difficulty level range 2 or 3.
- Division C: For 4 octaves with significant optional notes for 5 octaves, or for 5 octaves; difficulty level range 3 or 4.
- Combined Massed including all divisions: For 2 octaves with significant optional notes for 3, 4, 5 or more octaves or for 3 octaves with significant optional notes for 4, 5 or more octaves or for 3-5 octaves; difficulty level range 2 or 3.
Composition thematic types may include:
- Original compositions with or without additional secondary instruments.
- Arrangements with or without additional secondary instruments.
- Must be accompanied by documentation certifying that permission to make an arrangement and to publish has been granted by the copyright holder, or
- Must cite the publication date of the original score from which the arrangement was made if the original work is now in the public domain, or
- Must cite an authority which has declared the tune from which the arrangement was made is an anonymous or folk melody that is in the public domain and therefore freely available.
The winning composition contest entry shall be considered for publication, and Handbell Musicians of America (aka AGEHR Publishing) shall be given the first opportunity to publish all Area 12 Composition Contest winners.
An anonymous panel will adjudicate all compositions based on the following criteria:
Musicality (60 points)
- Interest – is the composition novel or interesting, and does it enhance the general handbell repertoire?
- Artistry – does the composition possess an inherent beauty of musical sound?
- Construction – is the composition musically well constructed?
Technical Merit (25 points)
- Appropriateness –is it a good composition for the instruction in a mass setting?
- Accessibility – will choirs be able to identify with the composition and want to play it outside of the conference?
- Playability – can the composition be played with relative ease, while still providing adequate challenge and interest?
Discretionary (5 points)
- Points may be given according to a judge’s fondness for a particular composition.
Area 12 Affiliation (5 points)
- Five points will be awarded to composers who reside within Area 12.
Guild 12 Affiliation (5 points)
- Five points will be awarded to composers who are members of Handbell Musicians of America or are associated with an organizational member in good standing.
One $1,000 prize shall be awarded to the winning composition. Should the adjudication panel deem no piece acceptable, no prize shall be awarded. The panel, at their discretion, may cite Honorable Mentions (without a cash award).
The winning composition will be performed at the next Handbell Musicians of America Area 12 conference to be held biennially each summer. Area 12 reserves the rights to the premiere performance of the winning composition.
All entries must be received no later than February 28. Composition contest submissions:
- Should be unpublished and not under consideration for publication.
- Should be suitable for massed ringing at approximately 3-7 minutes in length.
- Must follow the guidelines in the Handbell Musicians of America Notation Guide so as to be graded using the current National Difficulty Level System and standardized notation.
- Shall include no identifying marks on copies of the composition itself (such as the applicant’s name).
- Submissions shall include a copy of the score and an audio recording of the piece. Electronic copies via email to Dropbox are preferred; however, mailed submissions will be accepted. Please include an email address and phone number for future correspondence.
- Shall be sent to the Composition Contest Chair at the address noted below.
- Must be received by the deadline for entries.
- Submission material (manuscripts, files and recordings) will not be returned and will be destroyed following the conclusion of the contest.
E-mail entries and inquiries to: email@example.com
Send an email to the past chair for mail-in instructions.
Applicants will receive email confirmation of their submission within 72 hours of receipt. If confirmation is not received, please contact the past chair at the above email address immediately. If your submission is sent on the last day of acceptance, please contact the past chair immediately to confirm receipt.
Summary of Rules
- Composition Contest applicants need not be a member of Handbell Musicians of America.
- Only one composition will be chosen.
- Composition may be for Division A, B, C or Combined Mass.
- All compositions may or may not add additional secondary instruments.
- The winning Composition Contest entry shall be considered for publication.
- If the adjudication panel deems no piece acceptable, no prize shall be awarded.
- All compositions must be received no later than February 28.
Have questions? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org