- Emerging Composers – 30 years of age and under
- Professional Composers – over 30 years of age
NDSU Challey School of Music honors the legacy and traditions of noted choral composer and long-time NDSU choral conductor Edwin Fissinger with its annual choral composition competition.
Clark William Lawlor
The World's Wanderers
Clark William Lawlor (b. 1980) is a software engineer and award-winning choral composer based in the Salt Lake City, Utah area. His recent accolades include First Prize in the 2023 International Contest of Choral Composition University of Alcala (Spain); First Prize in the 2023 Utah ACDA Choral Composing Competition; and finalist in the 2023 Ensemble Altera Composition Competition.
Despite his recent successes, Clark is somewhat of a newcomer to the choral composing scene. Although he studied music at the University of Utah in the early 2000s, Clark dropped out before earning a degree to pursue a more “responsible” career. With the pressures of attending business school, building a career, and supporting a growing family, Clark took a long hiatus from music. He had all but lost his dream of a music career until 2022 when, after over 15 years away, Clark decided to join a local choir, and shortly thereafter began composing choral music again.
His first work, a setting of the Swedish text “I denna ljuva sommartid,” has seen surprising success on YouTube and in sheet music sales. In the past year, Clark has written over a dozen choral compositions, and has been the recipient of multiple awards. He recently signed on with a promising new publisher, Endeavor Music (https://www.endeavormusicpublishing.com/) and is excited to be a part of their growth.
In addition to writing music, Clark enjoys cycling, pickleball, and spending time with his wife and 5 children.
When Music Sounds
Katharine Petkovski (b. 1997) is a composer, pianist, and music producer based in Toronto, Canada. Featured on CBC’s “30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30” list, her music has been performed and premiered by ensembles such as the Odin Quartet, Bedford Trio, and the Exultate Chamber Singers.
Katharine is passionate about scoring music for film and tv, writing for a variety of forms of commercial media. Most recently, her music was featured by the Canadian Olympic Committee leading up to the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games. She has scored films that have premiered and shown at festivals such as BFI Flare Festival, Phoenix Film Festival, Inside Out Film Festival, TIFF Next Wave Film Festival and the Reel Asian Film Festival.
Katharine holds a BMus in Composition from the University of Toronto ('19), and a MMus in Composition from the University of Toronto ('21), where she received the prestigious Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Graduating Award upon completion. Katharine resides in Toronto and is an active member of the Screen Composer’s Guild of Canada, the Association of Canadian Women Composers, and the Canadian League of Composers.
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