Guild of Temple Musicians Ben Steinberg Young Composer's Award 2018 Competition Information Released

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Guild of Temple Musicians Ben Steinberg Young Composer's Award 2018 Competition Information Released

2018 Competition Information

Financial prize up to $2,500 and a premiere in Dallas at the 2018 ACC-GTM Convention

Purpose of Award: 

  • The Intention of the GTM Ben Steinberg Young Composer's Award is
  • To encourage gifted young Jewish composers to create worthwhile and appealing music for Jewish worship and Jewish concert programming;
  • To encourage the composition of musically literate, Jewishly appropriate musical settings which will be of lasting, practical use for religious services or concert performances, following the compositional form and design to be announced each year;
  • To encourage Jewish communities throughout North America and beyond, to listen to, perhaps participate in, and above all to value Jewish musical expressions of quality which are reflective of its own time.

Composition Requirements:

The 2018 requested work is an instrumental piece (or pieces) 3 - 5 minutes in duration for a chamber ensemble that will set the mood for Yizkor on Yom Kippur. Yizkor, meaning remembrance, is a solemn memorial service which takes place on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. Participants remember their loved ones (who have passed away recently or many years ago) as they pray/listen to ancient and modern liturgy and poetry. The service concludes with the traditional memorial prayer Eil Malei Rachamim and then the Mourner's Kaddish. The chamber ensemble may consist of between 2 - 4 instruments, and we encourage composers to consider using piano, violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, bassoon, oboe or French horn in his or her composition. While we encourage composers to explore using Jewish modes, nusach and melodies appropriate for the High Holy Days, our jury will look at how the submitted work sets the mood for Yizkor and elevates this important part of our High Holy Days.

  1. Scores must be printed in full by the composer and contain all necessary dynamics, tempi, etc. (chorded "charts" are unacceptable).  Pdf files are preferable to hard copies. The composer's name should appear only on the first page of the score. Midi/mp3 recordings are required as well;
  2. Candidates may submit more than one entry in any given year. New submissions may be sent during succeeding years, but no candidate may win the award more than twice;
  3. Submitted pieces must have been written no earlier than one year before the submission date, and be unperformed as well as unpublished at the time of the scheduled premiere; Applicants must also ensure that the piece(s) are submitted only for the YCA and no other competitions. The GTM holds exclusive rights to the premiere of the winning composition.
  4. The jury reserves the right not to award a prize in any given year, or to declare co-winners and/or honorable mentions.

The Award:  

  • Cash prize between $1,500 and $2,500 (the jury will determine the amount of the award based on merit and if there is a desire to award more than one composer);
  • A premiere performance of the winning piece(s) or a portion of the winning piece(s), at a North American Jewish Congregation or at the American Conference of Cantors/Guild of Temple Musicians National Convention in Dallas between June 24 - 28, 2018 (specific place and date of premiere to be determined by the GTM);
  • Transportation and accommodation costs within North America for the winning composer to attend the premiere, at which he/she agrees to be present;
  • Automatic submission of the winning piece to Transcontinental Music, for publication consideration; and
  • One year's free membership in the Guild of Temple Musicians.

Qualifications of Candidates:

Applicants should be Jewish composers from any country, at least 18 years of age by the submission date, and born on or after January 1, 1982.

Criteria For Selection of Winning Entry:

  1. Musical worth (the value of the piece's potential contribution to the field of Jewish Music);
  2. Judaic appropriateness (stylistic understanding etc.); 
  3. Practical usability (the possibility of further performances). 

Submission Directions:

Submissions (pdf versions of the score, BSYCA Application and midi files/mp3's) are to be sent via email to: AND or via snail mail to

David Shukiar, Chairman, GTM Young Composer's Award,
c/o Temple Adat Elohim
2420 East Hillcrest Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362.

Applicants intending to submit a work should notify the Chairman when this decision is made. If further questions arise, David Shukiar may be reached by e-mail at AND

Submission deadline for pieces: NO LATER THAN Friday, July 28, 2017 (postmarked) by midnight, Pacific Standard Time.

BSYCA Application:
2018 BSYCA Application Form & BSYCA Information Packet

Visit the Guild of Temple Musicians' website for the history and previous winners of the award.

The Guild of Temple Musicians an Affiliate of the American Conference of Cantors
1375 Remmington Road
Suite M
Schamburg, Illinois 60173