Edwin Fissinger Choral Composition Prizes

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.

The Edwin Fissinger Choral Composition Prizes will be awarded to the first and second place winners.

2017 First Place Winner

Jacob Beranek for "Our Rhyme"

NDSU Challey School of Music is pleased to announce the winner of the 2017 Edwin Fissinger Choral Composition Prize: "Our Rhyme" by Jacob Beranek, an 18-year-old musician from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. He is a published composer, award-winning pianist, and dedicated enthusiast of Czech culture. Beranek has received many honors for his work throughout Wisconsin, the Midwest, and the nation, and is currently serving as the first-ever composer-in-residence for the Midsummer's Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Composition at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music. His website is "Our Rhyme" will premiere at a performance by the NDSU Concert Choir on March 18, 2018 at NDSU Festival Concert Hall.

Previous Recipients


  • Score submission: must be received by June 1, 2018
  • Announcement of winners: September 1, 2018
  • Premiere of winning composition: March 2019
  • Application fee: $25 per composition
    • Pay online at NDSU Marketplace
    • Or mail check (payable to North Dakota State University) to:
      Dr. Jo Ann Miller
      NDSU Challey School of Music, Dept 2334
      PO Box 6050
      Fargo, ND 58108-6050
      • Must be postmarked by June 1, 2018


Entries should be:

  • For mixed choir (SATB), divisi is acceptable
  • Unaccompanied, or with keyboard accompaniment, obbligato instruments ok
  • Three to eight minutes in duration
  • Original and unpublished (by an established commercial firm) works only.
  • The text may be sacred or secular, either in the public domain or copyrighted, as long as a letter of permission from the copyright owner is included with the submission
  • Suitable for an accomplished high school or university choir


  • Open to all composers, except for current NDSU faculty, staff, and students.
  • Prior winners may re-enter only after five years.

Pictured above: NDSU Concert Choir with Jacob Beranek (white bowtie) , winner of the 2017 Fissinger Choral Composition Prize.

Prizes / Performance

  • First: $1,000
  • Second: $500
  • NDSU reserves the right to not award prizes in any given year.
  • The composer of the first prize work must be present at the premiere performance in March 2019.
  • NDSU will reimburse actual travel, lodging and food expenses up to a maximum of $750.
  • Winners will be announced at by September 1, 2018.
  • The first prize winner's piece, with the approval of the composer, will have their composition considered for publication in Pavane Publishing for placement in the Jo Ann Miller Choral Series. The second prize piece will be considered for publication.

Judging Panel

  • Jo Ann Miller, Director of Choral Activities, NDSU
  • Michael Weber, Associate Director of Choral Activities, NDSU
  • Charlette Moe, Assistant Director of Choral Activities and Music Education, NDSU
  • Jocelyn Hagen, Composer, Adjunct composition faculty, NDSU
  • Allan Petker, Pavane Publishing

Submission Guidelines

  • Include name, address, phone number(s), and email address when making payment via NDSU Marketplace or if paying by check, in a sealed envelope accompanying the score.
  • Send by PDF file to
  • Submitted scores must be in Finale or Sibelius.
  • A midi file is strongly recommended
  • All scores selected for performance will be reproduced by NDSU
  • Submissions must be submitted via email by 11:59 PM on June 1, 2018 or postmarked by June 1, 2018.
  • If not submitting a PDF, mail submissions to:
    Dr. Jo Ann Miller, NDSU Challey School of Music, Dept 2334, PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050
  • Email compositions to:
    Jo Ann Miller, Director of Choral Activities,

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