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.



2015 Winner Announced

We are happy to announce the 2015 Fissinger Choral Composition Prize winner is Joshua Hummel for his work “May Night,” text by Sara Teasdale. Hummel owns an award-winning composition studio in Connecticut, and his music has been performed in Carnegie Hall and throughout the United States, as well as Paris, Croatia, Perugia, Rome, London and Moscow. He holds an M.A. in Theatre, a Master of Music in Composition and has studied with professors from the Hartt School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory and Julliard.

"May Night" will be premiered at the NDSU/ACDA Contemporary Composition in America symposium at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 24, 2015, during a concert led by world-renowned composer and conductor Eric Whitacre.

2016 Deadlines

  • Score submission: May 1, 2016
  • Announcement of winners: August 1, 2016
  • Premiere of winning composition
  • Application fee: $25 per composition
    • Pay online at NDSU Marketplace beginning on October 1, 2015
    • Mail check to Dr. Jo Ann Miller, NDSU Challey School of Music, Dept 2334, PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050
      • Must be postmarked by May 1, 2016


Entries should be:

  • for mixed choir (SATB), divisi is acceptable,
  • unaccompanied, or with piano accompaniment,
  • three to five minutes in length,
  • original, not previously performed publicly, and unpublished. 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,
  • Arrangements of pre-existing melodies will not be accepted.


  • Open to all composers with the exception of current NDSU faculty, staff, and students.
  • Prior winners may enter only after five years.


  • First: $1000
  • Second: $500
  • NDSU reserves the right to not award prizes in a given year.
  • The composer of the first prize work must be present at the premiere performance during the NDSU Choral Symposium: Contemporary Composition in America. NDSU will reimburse actual travel, lodging and food expenses up to $750.
  • Winners will be announced at www.ndsu.edu/music/fissinger/index in August 2015.
  • The first prize winner will receive a contract from Pavane Publishing to place their composition in the Jo Ann Miller Choral Series. The second prize piece will be considered for publication.

Judging Panel

  • Jo Ann Miller, Choral Activities, NDSU
  • Michael Weber, Choral Activities, NDSU
  • Charlette Moe, Choral Activities, NDSU
  • Dale Warland, Dale Warland Singers
  • Allan Petker, Pavane Publishing

Submission Guidelines

  • Include name, address, phone number(s), and email address when making payment via NDSU Marketplace.
  • Scores may be submitted by:
    • Sibelius or
    • PDF (mp3 may be included, but is not required)
  • Submissions must be submitted via email by 11:59 PM on June 1, 2015.
  • Email compositions to:

Links of Interest

Previous Recipients

Edwin Fissinger Biography

Dale Warland

Pavane Publishing


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