Header - Regions


2020 Canadian Music Centre Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition - Call for Scores

February 12, 2019, CALGARY, AB – Emerging Composers with a connection to Canada’s Prairie Region are invited to submit their orchestral works to the 18th edition of the CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition for Orchestra with a cash prize of $1,500 and performance by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra during the 2019 edition of the Winnipeg New Music Festival (WNMF).

Emerging composers of any age who are current residents of, were born in, or have completed a substantial portion of their musical education in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, The Northwest Territories, or Nunavut, may enter.

Submissions must be completed no later than June 1, 2019. See below for full submission requirements.


The CMC Prairie Region invites emerging composers to enter this annual competition produced in late January or early February with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at its Winnipeg New Music Festival. Conceived by anonymous donors, the Canadian Music Centre Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition prize was first awarded in 2004; 2020 will mark the 18th annual edition of the contest and coincides with the 29th anniversary of the Winnipeg New Music Festival. The winning composition will receive a performance by the WSO during the 2020 edition of the WNMF.


The winner will be invited to participate in the second annual WNMF Composers Institute, giving them the opportunity to experience the entire Winnipeg New Music Festival from behind the scenes, attending WSO rehearsals and concerts, and participating in professional development workshops with Canadian and international guest composers.


A. Eligibility & Guidelines:

• Applicants must either be current residents of, have been born in, or have completed a substantial portion of their musical education in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, The Northwest Territories, or Nunavut. Eligibility should be addressed in a cover letter.

• There are no age restrictions; however, applicants should be composers at the early stages of their professional careers.

• Each composer may submit only one composition for consideration.

• Past winners are not eligible.

• Only works that will not have been officially premiered prior to the WSO world premiere date are eligible. Works that have been read in an academic context are eligible.

• A recording is not required but highly recommended. Computer mockups are acceptable.

• Only works completed after January 1, 2014, will be considered.

• Maximum duration is 10 minutes.

• Instrumentation should not exceed: winds at *2,*2,*2,2; brass at 4,3,3,1; timpani plus 2 percussion; harp; and strings (12, 11, 8, 7, 6). *Available doublings are: Flute 2/Piccolo, Oboe 2/English Horn, and Clarinet 2/Bass Clarinet. Works with instrumentation that exceed the above will not be considered.

• Works requiring soloists or employing electronics, MIDI, digital technology, and/or sound reinforcement in combination with the above instrumental forces will not be considered.

• The winning composer must provide professional, legible orchestral parts and scores prepared according to guidelines established by the Major Orchestral Librarians Association.

• The quality of the score submitted is the primary evaluation criteria. It is therefore in the applicant's best interest that the score be clear, accurate, and the best representation of the composer's work. The additional background information is for eligibility and documentation purposes, these materials are not considered in the general review of scores.

• Applications that are incomplete, illegible, late, or that do not meet the above criteria will not be considered.

B. Instrumentation:

Entries should use the following instrumentation: winds at *2,*2,*2,2; brass at 4,3,3,1; timpani plus 2 percussion; harp; and strings (12, 11, 8, 7, 6). *Available doublings are: Flute 2/Piccolo, Oboe 2/English Horn, and Clarinet 2/Bass Clarinet. Works with instrumentation that exceed the above will not be considered.
Please note: There will be one rehearsal plus the dress rehearsal before the performance of the winning work. The suitability of entries for performance with this amount of rehearsal will be a factor in the jury’s deliberations.

C. Duration:

MAXIMUM of 10 minutes.

D. Prize:

The winner will receive $1,500 and a performance of the winning work during the 2020 edition of the WNMF concert with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and a residency during the entirety of the Winnipeg New Music Festival. This affords the winner the opportunity to meet and receive coaching and mentorship from the Festival’s Canadian and International visiting guest composers. The winning score will be chosen by a jury consisting of representatives of the WSO and a CMC representative.

E. Deadline:

Submissions must be completed no later than June 1, 2019 . The winner will be notified by September 1, 2019.

F. Submission

Only digital submissions will be accepted.

Create a new Dropbox folder using the following naming format: LASTNAME-FIRSTNAME-PieceTitle

Inside the folder, include all of the following:

• An info document indicating your name, contact information, composition title, exact instrumentation, duration, and your status in the Prairie Region; use the naming format LASTNAME-FIRSTNAME-Info

• A PDF score with all references to your name and professional/academic affiliations omitted; use the naming format PieceTitle.pdf

• An MP3 recording, if available, with any reference to your name and affiliations omitted from the metadata (ID3); use the naming format PieceTitle.mp3

Send an email with the subject header CMC ECC 2020 Submission-LASTNAME , containing a link to your Dropbox folder, by the competition deadline to:

(Do not "share" the folder; only direct links will be accepted.)

The folder and its contents must remain active until December 1, 2019.

G. Send submissions to:


For more information contact:

Emerging Composer Competition
CMC Prairie Region at
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
(403) 220-7403

Past Recipients


2018 - Luis Ramirez - Chido
Luis Ramirez won the 2018 CMC Emerging Composer Competition for his piece "Chido". He earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance and subsequently his Master of Music degree in Piano in 2016 with Alexander Tselyakov at Brandon University. He recently obtained his second master’s degree in Composition, with Dr. Patrick Carrabré at the same institution, and is currently based in Brandon, MB.

2017 – Michael Ducharme - X-1
Michael Ducharme won the 2017 CMC Emerging Composer Competition for his piece “X-1”. He composes a wide variety of instrumental and vocal music, including chamber pieces, choral music, and orchestral works. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Composition from the University of Manitoba, and a Master’s degree in Composition from the University of British Columbia (UBC). He is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) student in Composition at UBC, under the supervision of Dr. Keith Hamel. Michael’s compositional style blends influences from film music with modern experimental contemporary classical music. He leverages his past experience with computers and programming to add interactivity and algorithmically-generated content to his works. He has also maintained his childhood interest in astronomy, owning three telescopes and holding a membership of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC).

You can find out more about Michael at http://michaeljducharme.com

2016 – Glenn Sutherland - To See Again with Spirit Eyes
Glenn Sutherland won the 2016 CMC Emerging Composer Competition for his piece “To See Again with Spirit Eyes”. Based in Vancouver, B.C., he continues to compose while remaining very active as a conservation biologist. Since winning the 2016 competition, one focus has been writing songs in collaboration with living poets. These projects resulted in premiere performances for the Vancouver International Song Institute’s Art Song Lab in June 2016 as well as by the Erato Ensemble in November 2016. Among other projects, he is presently working on pieces for chamber ensembles, including Vancouver’s Tiresias duo. Glenn was accepted as an Associate Composer of the CMC in 2016, and is a member of the Canadian League of Composers. He is also an active Board member of Vancouver Pro Musica, an organization devoted to offering opportunities to composers of contemporary music and supporting performers in presenting concerts of new music (acoustic and electro-acoustic).

You can find out more about Glenn at https://www.musiccentre.ca/node/144521/biography

2015 – Nova Pon – Awakenings
Nova Pon won the 2015 CMC Emerging Composer Competition for her piece “Awakenings”. She has composed over fifty works, and her music has been performed on four continents. In addition to winning the 2015 edition of the CMC Prairie Region’s Emerging Composer Competition, she was also nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award that same year. Performers of her music have included the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Erato Ensemble, Kensington Sinfonia, Rubbing Stone Ensemble, Ensemble Resonance, Sempre la Musica, and Ensemble Paramirabo. Her degrees are from University of Calgary and University of British Columbia, and she continues exploring connections within music, psychology, and philosophy. Recent projects include a commission from Redshift Music for percussion quartet, including microtonal glass marimba and water and glass instruments, and work for Mark Takeshi McGregor's upcoming solo flute recording, based on the song of the Pacific Wren. She is also a passionate music teacher and flutist, and currently lives on Bowen Island, near Vancouver, BC.

You can find out more about Nova at http://novapon.com

2014 - Roydon Tse - Three Musings
Roydon Tse won the CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition in 2014 for his piece “Three Musings”. Since then, his master’s thesis “Genesis” was premiered by the Brussels Philharmonic, conducted by Franck Ollu. The Asian premiere of his percussion concerto was given by the Hong Kong Philharmonic, conducted by Bright Sheng, and there have been several performances of his compositions by the Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara and Guelph Symphony Orchestras. Roydon has received commissions for ensembles and soloists in Canada, the US and Hong Kong. His string quartet “Breathe” was awarded the University of Toronto Quartet Composition Prize, and was subsequently performed by the Cecilia String Quartet in 2016. In 2017, his guitar piece “Meditation” was selected for publication by Schott Music on the SCI Journal of Music Scores. Roydon’s works have garnered several awards, among them being three SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers, and the 2015 Washington International Composition Prize for his string quartet “Tempest”.
Roydon is currently halfway through a DMA degree in composition at the University of Toronto, where he studies with Dr. Norbert Palej. Roydon enjoys his work there as a graduate TA, where he has the opportunity to guide and mentor the next generation of young composers. He received a Masters of Composition in 2015 at the same institution under the guidance of Dr. Christos Hatzis.

You can find out more about Roydon at www.roydontse.com

2013 - Daniel Belland – Voyage
Daniel Belland won the CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition in 2013 for his piece “Voyage”. Daniel is a composer, pianist, and music director based in Edmonton, Alberta. Following his 2013 win in the CMC Prairie Region’s Emerging Composer Competition, he completed his Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Contemporary Popular Music, with a Major in Composition from MacEwan University. His studies there prepared him to compose in a wide range of styles, from contemporary rock/pop, jazz, fusion, and modern classical. Daniel works regularly in Edmonton in musical theatre as a music director, accompanist, and arranger. He composed the music for an original musical, which premiered at the 2016 Edmonton Fringe Festival.

You can find out more about Daniel at http://danielbelland.ca/

2012 - Jesse Plessis - Tender is the Night
Jesse Plessis won the 2012 edition of the CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition for his piece “Tender is the Night”. He obtained a Master of Music degree (Performance and Literature) from Brandon University, where he studied piano with Megumi Masaki and composition with Patrick Carrabré. His Bachelor of Music degree is from the University of Lethbridge, where he studied piano with Deanna Oye, and composition with Arlan Schultz and Rolf Boon. Additional studies followed with Hardy Rittner at the Banff Centre and Norma Fisher at the London Masterclasses. He is currently the artistic director of the Centric Festival, Lethbridge’s summer classical music festival. Plessis has been awarded prizes both in piano and composition from the Associated Manitoba Arts Festivals, and the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg. Jesse’s interest in contemporary music has led him to co-create the Hansen-Plessis Piano Duo. Jesse has performed across Canada and Europe; recent performances include those with New West Theatre, at the Casalmaggiore Festival in Italy, the Dark Music Days Festival in Iceland, and at the Banff Centre. In addition to his activities as a performer, Plessis is a committed educator; he has been on faculty at the University of Lethbridge and gives masterclasses and private lessons regularly.

2011 - Luke Nickel - L'étoile noyée
Luke Nickel won the 2011 CMC Emerging Composer Competition for his piece “L'étoile noyée”. Since then, he has completed his master's and PhD degrees at McGill University under the tutelage of Chris Paul Harman, and at Bath Spa University with James Saunders, respectively. Luke has composed works for the McGill Wind Symphony, Ensemble Paramirabo, EXAUDI (UK), Mira Benjamin (UK), Architek Percussion, VivaVoce, and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. His research is focused on a unique system of orally-transmitted musical notation that completely removes the written score from his practice, as well as the exploration of alternate forms of musical notation, such as graphic notation, text notation, and oral notation. A recipient of an individual artist's grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, Luke is the co-director of the Cluster: New Music + Integrated Arts Festival in Winnipeg Manitoba, which is now entering its eighth year.

You can find out more about Luke at http://lukenickel.com/

2010 - Darren Miller - for amma
Darren Miller won the 2010 CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition for his piece “for amma”. Darren went on to complete his PhD coursework in Buffalo, New York before transferring to the University of Victoria. While his main activities at that time were research and teaching, he also found time for frequent collaborations with visiting artists such as: Mark McGregor, Trimpin, and the Bozzini Quartet. The musical component of his dissertation (on the subject of audio morphing software) was premiered alongside the work of his close friend and colleague Dr. Annette Brosin. Following the completion of his PhD in 2015, Darren and his partner Chelsea returned to their prairie home of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The main focus of Darren’s creative life in Saskatoon is the annual Strata Festival of New Music, co-founded with composer Paul Suchan, and now in its sixth year. Notable guest artists have included: Gordon Fitzell, The Krells, John Celona, The Proteus Saxophone Quartet, Luciane Cardassi, and Barbara Croall. Since returning to Saskatoon Darren has also begun exploring work as a sound designer for the theatre, in productions by Sparrow & Finch, Live Five, and Persephone Theatre.

You can find out more about Darren at http://www.darrenmiller.ca/

2009 - Karen Sunabacka - And There Was a Great Calm
Karen Sunabacka won the 2009 CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition for her piece “And There Was a Great Calm”. Since then, Dr. Sunabacka has kept a busy schedule. In February 2017 the Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra premiered her work “The Prairies” which was part of a bigger piece called De Natura Sonorum, a commissioned work with four other composers to celebrate 150 years of Confederation. Fascinated by the sounds of wind and how natural sounds can turn into nightmares, Karen collaborated with hyper-flutist Cléo Palacio-Quintin to create a 10-minute piece titled All Night A Dark Wind Blows for flute, voice and electronics. She has received commissions from the Regina Symphony Orchestra, the Agassiz Chamber Music Festival, and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. Along with pieces about the natural beauty and winds of the Prairies, Karen has recently been exploring her Métis and Manitoban heritage through composition. Karen is now Associate Professor of Music Theory and Composition and the Music Department Chair at Providence University College. She was recently a Mentor Composer for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Composers’ Institute. An active member and past board member of the Canadian New Music Network she continues to be on the Groundswell board (Winnipeg’s New Music Series). She founded Pressure Waves in Winnipeg (now a regular part of Groundswell’s Emerging Composer program) and the Providence Performing Arts School (a community music school based at Providence in Otterburne, Manitoba).

You can find out more about Karen at http://www.sunabacka.com/

2008 - Shelley Marwood – Illumination
Shelley Marwood won the CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition in 2008 for her piece “Illumination”. Currently based out of Toronto, Ontario, she has had works performed across Canada and in the U.S., by ensembles such as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal, Rubbing Stone Ensemble, and the UCalgary String Quartet. Recent commissions include works for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (Olympic Commissioning Project 2010), Windsor Symphony Orchestra (Windsor Canadian Music Festival 2009), New Works Calgary (Happening Festival 2009), and the Cincinnati Youth Wind Ensemble in 2011. Shelley is nearing the completion of her DMA in composition at the University of Toronto. After an early focus on orchestral music, she has more recently been exploring writing for the voice. In 2015 Shelley won the Karen Kieser Prize in Canadian Music for “These Fragile Snowflakes”. Her piece “Merge” was included on the Rubbing Stone Ensemble’s debut CD “The Lethbridge Sessions” which was released by Centrediscs in May 2014. Shelley became an Associate Composer with the CMC in February 2012.

You can find out more about Shelley at http://www.shelleymarwood.com/index.html

2008 - Andrew Staniland – Protestmusik
Andrew Staniland won the CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition in 2008 for his piece “Protestmusik”. His work has garnered numerous awards, including the 2009 National Grand Prize in EVOLUTION, presented by CBC Radio 2/Espace Musique and The Banff Centre. “Dark Star Requiem”, a full album of his works was released on the Centrediscs label in 2016, and received two Juno nominations in 2017. His music is regularly heard on CBC Radio 2 and has been performed and broadcast internationally in over 35 countries. Andrew has been Affiliate Composer to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (2006-09) and recent commissioners include the Gryphon Trio, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, the Toronto Symphony, cellist Frances-Marie Uitti, and American Opera Projects. Andrew also performs as a guitarist and with new media (computers and electronics). Andrew has been on faculty at Memorial University in St John’s Newfoundland since 2010, where he founded MEARL (Memorial ElectroAcoustic Research Lab). At MEARL, Staniland leads a cross-disciplinary research team that has produced the innovative ARC 16 and ARC 2.0 electronic music instruments.

You can find out more about Andrew at http://andrewstaniland.com/

2007 - Boriša Sabljić – Deliverance
Boriša Sabljić won the CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition in 2007 for his piece “Deliverance”. After finishing his graduate studies in 2008 in Winnipeg, he moved to Berlin, Germany. Exposed to the rich artistic environment, he composed both acoustic and electronic music, with his focus turning to the exploration of popular and electronic dance music. In 2010 he moved to Cairo, Egypt, where he taught music, embraced the richness of Egyptian folklore, and studied the music of Sufism and Oud music. Since 2013 Boriša has lived in Toronto, ON, where he produces popular electronic music and remixes popular music to electronic dance music.

You can find out more about Boriša at Boriša PDF

2006 - Vincent Chee-Yung Ho – Stigmata
Vincent Ho won the CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition in 2006 for his piece “Stigmata”. His many awards have included Harvard University’s Fromm Music Commission, The Canada Council for the Arts Robert Fleming Prize, ASCAP’s Morton Gould Young Composer Award, four SOCAN Young Composers Awards, and CBC Radio’s Audience Choice Award (2009 Young Composers Competition). Dr. Ho served as the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s composer-in-residence from 2007-2014. He is currently the Artistic Director of Land’s End Ensemble in Calgary, Alberta, and was appointed to the position of Music Advisor to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in 2016.

You can learn more about Vincent at http://vinceho.com/

2005 - Abigail Richardson – Dissolve
Abigail Richardson Schulte won the CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition in 2005 for her piece “Dissolve”. Since then, she was the Affiliate Composer for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra from 2006-2009, and has been the Curator of Ancillary Events for the TSO New Creations Festival since 2009. She is in her fifth year as Composer in Residence for the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, where she focusses on outreach and public education for all ages, directing the HPO What Next Festival, not to mention composing for the orchestra. Abigail has also composed several family orchestral works which have seen a great deal of success, including The Hockey Sweater (text by Roch Carrier), which has over forty performances this season. Abigail teaches composition (on contract) at the University of Toronto, co-directs a chamber series, Chamber Music Hamilton, and is on the Ontario Regional Council of the CMC.

You can find out more about Abigail at http://abigailrichardson.com/

2004 - Jocelyn Morlock - Bird in the Tangled Sky
Jocelyn Morlock won the CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition in 2004 for her piece “Bird in the Tangled Sky”. Her music is recorded on 20 CDs, including her own CD, Cobalt, whose title track, a concerto for two violins and orchestra, won the 2015 Western Canadian Music Award for Best Classical Composition. Jocelyn’s music has received numerous accolades including Top 10 at the 2002 International Rostrum of Composers, winner of the 2004 CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composers competition, five nominations (2006, 2010, 2014, 2015) and one win (2015) for Classical Composition/Recording of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards, and a Juno Nomination for Classical Composition of the Year (2011.) She recently won the Mayor's Arts Award for Music in Vancouver (2016), and is currently the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's Composer in Residence. Recent premieres include Hullabaloo, Corvid, and Earthfall for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, My Name is Amanda Todd for the National Arts Centre Orchestra's multi-media project, Life Reflected, and Night, herself, for Continuum Contemporary Music, Simone Orlando, and Ballet Kelowna. Recent CD releases featuring Morlock’s work include her Centrediscs orchestral CD, Cobalt; Neal Bennett’s Ziggurat; the University of Manitoba Wind Ensemble's North Winds V; Mark Takeshi McGregor’s Sins and Fantasies; Couloir’s Wine Dark Sea; and Standing Wave’s Liquid States. Much of Jocelyn’s music has been inspired by birds, insomnia, or a peculiar combination thereof.

You can find out more about Jocelyn at https://jocelynmorlock.com/