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Harmonium Challenges High School Students to Enter Its Annual Composition Contest

2012 Harmonium Composition Contest (L to R):  Jamie Currie, Runner-Up; Susan Kirkland, Sponsor; J. Eric Roper, Honorable Mention Credits: Photo by Paula Roper
2012 Harmonium Composition Contest:  Jacob Gelber, Grand Prize Winner

MORRISTOWN, N.J. -- Harmonium Choral Society challenges high school students to participate in its 17th Annual New Jersey High School Student Choral Composition Contest. The contest is open to all students enrolled in grades nine through twelve in any public or private school in the State of New Jersey. It is also open to all students who are legal residents of New Jersey participating in home schooling at the high school level.

Student composers are encouraged to submit their original choral compositions to Harmonium no later than March 3, 2014. Compositions must be five minutes or less in length with text based on the Latin poem "Musica Dei donum optimi," Psalm 149, or selected works by William Shakespeare, Christina Rossetti, Thomas Hardy, Sara Teasdale and William Henry Davies. To view the list of texts, guidelines and additional contest materials, visit or contact contest coordinator Matt Swiss at

The winning compositions will be selected by a panel of judges consisting of professional musicians, composers and music educators. The Grand Prize winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and $250 will be awarded to a Runner-Up. In addition, the sponsoring teachers of the winning student composers will receive a monetary award. The winners will be notified by late March or early April.

The winning compositions will be performed and recorded live during the Harmonium Spring concert "Sing a New Song" at 7:30 p.m. June 7 and 8, 2014, Grace Episcopal Church, 4 Madison Ave., Madison, N.J. The concert will feature the Bach motet "Singet dem Herrn" in addition to highlighting the winners of the student composition contest.

Harmonium seeks sponsors to support this innovative program. Please see or send contributions by mail to Harmonium Choral Society, P.O. Box 1317, Morristown, NJ 07962-1317. Or call 973-538-6969 for more information.


Harmonium Choral Society, based in Morris County, is one of New Jersey's leading choral arts organizations. The 100-voice choral society has been recognized for its musical excellence and innovative programming and has commissioned and premiered works by Amanda Harberg, Matthew Harris, Elliot Z. Levine, Harmonium's composers-in-residence Mark Miller and Marty Sedek, and others. One third of Harmonium's singing members are currently music educators.

Directed by Dr. Anne J. Matlack of Madison, Harmonium's season consists of four major subscription concerts held in December, March, April and June, as well as numerous special events and partnerships. Harmonium, known for its eclectic programming, choral excellence, and community spirit, sponsors commissions, musicianship workshops, as well as an Outreach Chorus which performs in schools, nursing homes and other venues.

Harmonium has toured internationally to England and Wales, Eastern Europe, Northern Italy, Spain and Portugal, and most recently, Greece and Turkey.

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

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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