INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CHOIR COMPETITION

Study > School of Creative and Performing Arts > International Christian Choir Competition

Calling all Christian choirs around the world!

competition entry is open now
International Christian Choir Competition | Excelsia College

Excelsia College is thrilled to present the International Christian Choir Competition, an online event that celebrates the tradition of singing in harmony. Joining other esteemed international choirs, participants will have the opportunity to showcase their talents and passion before a panel of judges, including composer and William Byrd Fellow, Antony Pitts. This event celebrates both classic and contemporary sacred compositions, all deeply rooted in Christian themes and texts. Aspire to win the William Byrd Prize of $10,000 (AUD). Choirs from New South Wales also have the chance to win the Community Prize of up to $5,000!

Don’t let this remarkable opportunity pass you by, join us online, and seize the chance to shine, connect with fellow enthusiasts, and inspire in a joyful virtual gathering of choral musicians.

I warmly welcome you to our first International Christian Choir Competition in Sydney.

This event celebrates music as a powerful unifier and a language that transcends borders, bringing together diverse cultures in harmony.

At Excelsia, we celebrate creativity and cultural exchange, and your participation adds unique voices and stories to this vibrant community.

This will contribute to music research and scholarship within a Christian worldview as part of the Excelsia College William Byrd Fellowship. It connects the academic community with opportunities to engage with professional choral and vocal musicians, nationally and internationally to advance research and scholarship in music. May this event be a memorable and joyous experience for all.

Mr Peter McKeon | CEO/Managing Director | Board of Directors | Excelsia College

Mr Peter McKeon

Prizes

*One-year scholarship – Five recipients in total

For enquiries, please email choir@excelsia.edu.au

Key Dates

Submissions open: 12 midday AEST, 2 April 2024
Submissions close: 12 midday AEST, 1 June 2024

Submissions received after 1 June 2024 will not be considered.

Notification for finalists: 10 June 2024
Finalists submissions deadline: 12 midday AEST, 6 July 2024
Grand Final (online) and winners announced: 13 July 2024

Read before you submit

1. Prizes:

  • • William Byrd Choir Prize: $10,000 (AUD).
  • • Community Prize: $5,000 (AUD) – may be divided between up to three participating choirs based in New South Wales.
  • • Five one-year Bachelor of Music (Worship) scholarships.
  • • Prizes are non-transferable and must be accepted as awarded.

Up to six choirs may be shortlisted as Finalists in the Grand Final for the William Byrd Prize.

The Grand Final for the William Byrd Prize is open to any choir of any size from around the world with a repertoire of (not necessarily exclusively) Christian music. 

The Community Prize is optionally open to any choir located in New South Wales, and may be awarded to one or more choirs (up to a maximum of three), whether or not selected as Finalists. Choirs (optionally) indicating they wish to be considered for the Community Prize on the entry form must commit to performing live at the Open Day at Excelsia College in Macquarie Park, NSW 2113 on Saturday 3 August 2024. 

The Bachelor of Music (Worship) scholarships may be offered to individuals of participating choirs as Excelsia College decides.

 

2. William Byrd Prize Allocation and Notification:

Winners of the William Byrd Prize will be selected and announced by the Judging Panel at the end of the Grand Final on Saturday 13 July 2024. Prize money will be paid within 30 days of the announcement. 

Shortlisted Finalists for the William Byrd Prize will be notified by or on 10 June 2024 (in order to submit their Finalist performances by 6 July 2024).

All participants are expected to watch the competition livestream either live or within 24 hours. Members of the winning choir of the William Byrd Prize will be contacted with written confirmation following the announcement. Winners must respond within 30 days, or they risk forfeiting their prize money.

 

3. Community Prize Allocation and Notification:

Winners of the Community Prize will be announced at the end of the Grand Final on Saturday 13 July 2024 and will perform at the Open Day at Excelsia College in Macquarie Park, 2113 NSW on Saturday 3 August 2024. Prize money will be paid within 30 days of the announcement.

Winners of the Community Prize will be notified privately by Monday 10 June 2024 (in order to prepare for their performances on Saturday 3 August 2024) and the announcement embargoed until the end of the Grand Final on Saturday 13 July 2024.

The Judging Panel will be made up of three members of staff from Excelsia College, including Head of School of Creative and Performing Arts Associate Professor, Lotte Latukefu.

The Judging Panel will be chaired by the composer and William Byrd Fellow, Antony Pitts. For the Grand Final, the Judging Panel will be joined by an external guest.

The Judging Panel’s decisions are final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

For the initial entries and consideration for the Community Prize, the Judging Panel will be looking for:

  • • blend and character
  • • tuning and clarity
  • • expression and delivery

For the Finalists’ entries for the William Byrd Prize at the Grand Final, the Judging Panel will be considering, in addition to the above:

  • • curation of the sequence of music
  • • ensemble dynamic and awareness
  • • interpretation of the notation.

1) Repertoire:

To enter the competition, the choir must sing two musical items, as follows:

1. A hymn setting of ‘There is a green hill far away’ with music by Antony Pitts

2) A freely chosen piece of music

  • • minimum duration of music: 3 minutes
  • • maximum duration of video: 6 minutes
  • • unaccompanied (no instruments)
  • • can be any genre or period
  • • must have a Christian text (in any language) or Christian theme

Performances of both pieces must be unaccompanied (no instruments).

2. Performance:

The performances must be filmed as live, with no audio editing within each piece. Submission indicates a declaration that the audio of the video(s) has not been edited and is a single live take for each piece of music.

3. Video:

The video for each musical item must show the choir singing the music as it was performed; it must not involve any miming or any persons not singing (except for the conductor or director). Multiple camera angles are allowed, but there should be no video editing or post-production which obscures the faces of the singers.

Ideally the video should clearly show the conductor in action (if relevant).

4. General Content Guidelines:

Submitted videos must not include any unauthorised performances, and must not include nudity, graphic violence, coarse language, or any content exceeding an M rating. Excelsia College reserves the right to determine the acceptability of the content.

5. Submission Format:

Entries must be submitted via the registration form. The two performances should be submitted as separate URLs. A title and description of the freely chosen piece and its complete text, and translation if not sung in English, with the name of composer(s) and text author(s) clearly indicated, must be submitted on the entry form.

6. Deadline:

The competition entry period will close at 12 midday AEST on 1 June 2024. Submissions received after this date will not be considered.

7. Entry Fee:

A $50 (AUD) entry registration fee per choir must be paid before entries are submitted. The registration form must be completed following the fee payment; only then will submitted videos be accepted for the competition.

1) Repertoire: To enter the Grand Final, shortlisted Finalists must sing the following four musical items in an uninterrupted sequence (in any order):

  1. Any unaccompanied piece by William Byrd (for example: ‘Ave verum’ ­– short SATB anthem)
  2. Any unaccompanied version of ‘Amazing Grace’ to a version of the tune known as ‘Amazing Grace’ or ‘New Britain’; any number of verses may be sung.
  3. Any unaccompanied piece by Antony Pitts (for example: his setting of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ – SATB div. anthem).
  4. A freely chosen piece of music
  • • minimum duration of music: 3 minutes
  • • maximum duration of music: 6 minutes
  • • unaccompanied (no instruments)
  • • can be any genre or period
  • • must have a Christian text (in any language) or Christian theme.

All performances must be unaccompanied and be of music with a Christian text or theme (in any language).

Pieces may be performed in a different order from 1–4 above.

 

Total duration:

  • • minimum duration of music: 16 minutes
  • • maximum duration of video, including pauses between pieces: 20 minutes.
  •  

2) Performance:

The performance of the sequence of four pieces must be filmed live and uninterrupted, with no audio editing. Submission indicates a declaration that the audio in the video has not been edited and is a single live take of the complete musical sequence.

 

3) Video:

The video must show the choir singing the music as it was performed; it must not involve any miming or any persons not singing (except for the conductor or director). Multiple camera angles are allowed, but there should be no video editing or post-production which obscures the faces of the singers. Ideally the video should clearly show the conductor in action (if relevant). There must be no titles or credits or subtitles on the video.

 

4) Accompanying material:

Accompanying written material must consist of:

  • • The names of all singers and conductor/director.
  • • A short choir biography in English of between 50 and 100 words.
  • • A long choir biography in English of between 200 and 400 words.
  • • A biography of the conductor or director in English of between 100 and 400 words.
  • • A list of the titles of each piece of music in performance order, with the names of composer(s) and text author(s) clearly indicated.
  • • The texts, and translations if the sung text is not in English, submitted as a Word document or PDF.

 

In addition, the Choir must provide:

  • • One PDF of the score or sheet music of the ‘Amazing Grace’ version or arrangement (or description of the instructions used for a non-notated version) being used for the competition. This is for the use of the Judging Panel, and to remain in the archive of the competition.
  • • One PDF of the score or sheet music of the freely chosen piece of music (or explanation of the piece, if non-notated). This is for the use of the Judging Panel, and to remain in the archive of the competition.
  • • Two high-quality, high-resolution (minimum: 1500 x 1500 pixels) photographs of the choir.
  • • A high-resolution (minimum: 400 pixels wide, ideally much higher) logo of the choir.
  •  

5) General Content Guidelines:

Submitted videos must not include any unauthorised performances, and must not include nudity, graphic violence, coarse language, or any content exceeding an M rating. Excelsia College reserves the right to determine the acceptability of the content.

 

6) Submission Format:

Finalists’ videos for the Grand Final must be submitted via the provided Dropbox link along with all necessary accompanying materials. There should not be anything else in this folder.

 

7) Deadline:

The finalists’ deadline for submission is 12 midday AEST, Saturday 6 July 2024 (a week before the Grand Final). Submissions received after this date will not be considered.

 

  1. Submission Deadline: All initial competition entries must be submitted online by 12 midday AEST, Saturday 1 June 2024.
  2. Receipt of Entries: The college accepts no responsibility for entries not received for any reason.
  3. Rights Granted: By submitting a video, the entrant and/or finalist grants Excelsia College the right to:
  • • exhibit the video online during the competition and in perpetuity.
  • • use segments of the video for promotional purposes across various platforms, including social media, websites, and other communication channels.
  1. Withdrawal: Entries cannot be withdrawn post-submission. Submission implies acceptance of this condition.
  2. Finalist Notification: Finalists for the William Byrd Prize and winners of the Community Prize will be notified via email by or on 10 June 2024.
  3. Judging Decisions: The decisions of Excelsia College regarding all aspects of the competition are final. No correspondence will be entered into.
  4. Agreement to Terms: Participation in the competition indicates acceptance of these terms and conditions and that each choir fully accepts and adheres to the rules and regulations of the competition. Choirs identifying as local must commit to performing live at Excelsia College’s Open Day on Saturday 3 August 2024.
  5. Publicity Consent: Winners consent to the use of their names, choir names, biographies, and choir images for promotional purposes. Personal data will be handled in accordance with Australian data protection laws and not disclosed without consent.
  1. Competition Changes: Excelsia College reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and terms without notice due to external circumstances. Participants will be notified of any changes.

  2. Governing Law: The competition and terms are governed by Australian law. Disputes fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of Australian courts.

  3. Social Media Disclaimer: This competition is not sponsored, endorsed, or administered by any social media platform. Information is provided to Excelsia College and will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

  4. Tax Obligations: The winning choir is responsible for any tax liabilities arising from the prize. The prize is awarded in Australian dollars (AUD).

By entering the competition, participants confirm their understanding and agreement to these terms and conditions.

!TongUp! Excelsia College
!TongUp! Excelsia College

¡TONE UP!

¡TONE UP! is a series of ensemble-singing workshops (and occasional creative residencies) led by composer, conductor, and William Byrd Fellow, Antony Pitts – the founder of TONUS PEREGRINUS and former Artistic Director of The Song Company – and his colleagues.  These workshops are aimed at anyone interested in toning up their ensemble-singing and choral skills, covering a range of musical abilities and experience, from student and community singers to highly experienced professionals. 

¡TONE UP! #6

is taking place at The Old Monastery, Stroud, NSW in April 2024

¡TONE UP! #7

is hosted by Excelsia College, Sydney in July 2024

Pursuing Faith and Music?