TMChoir Choral Composition Competition

Emerging composers – new works

The TMChoir launched a new annual Choral Composition Competition for emerging composers in June 2015. The winners of this competition receive the Debbie Fleming Prize for Choral Composition.

TMChoir is proud that its Choral Composition Competition brings new works from emerging composers to choral music in Canada. The winners of the competition receive the Debbie Fleming Prize for Choral Composition in the amount of $1,000, and the winning work is premiered by the TMChoir at one of their concerts.

Debbie Fleming is a TMChoir alumna who sang in the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir for 40 years and who retired in June 2015.  The TMChoir is grateful for Debbie’s commitment to the enrichment of the TMChoir’s education program and to the growth of choral music in Canada.

2021 competition

The TMChoir is thrilled to announce that composer and jazz pianist Benjamin Sigerson is the winner of the 2021 Choral Composition Competition for his work Of Rest, a setting of the poetry of j.h. Lee. Of Rest will be performed at the TMChoir’s June 28th Choral Conductors’ Symposium concert. The TMChoir received 22 entries to the competition and thanks all the composers who entered and showed the vibrancy of the Canadian choral composition scene.

Read the full award announcement here.


The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir welcomes and encourages submissions from composers who identify as various races, genders, abilities, and sexual orientations. The Choir is committed to eliminating systemic barriers and to a more inclusive experience. We are focused on fostering creative spaces that are safe, respectful and accessible for everyone. Read the TMChoir’s statement of commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Previous Prize winners

2020: Alastair Boyd of Toronto, Ontario for: A Hymn on the Nativity.

This work was recorded by TMChoir choristers from home during the pandemic and was premiered as part of the Choir’s virtual Festival of Carols 2020 program.

2019: Zachary Windus of Ancaster, Ontario for In Bethlehem upon that morn. 

This work was premiered at Festival of Carols on December 3 and 4, 2019.

2018: Russell Wilkinson of Edmonton, Alberta for There Is No Rose.

This work was performed on December 4 & 5, 2018 at Festival of Carols.

2017: Joannie Ing of Toronto, Ontario for The Good News Carol.

This work was performed on December 5 & 6, 2017 at Festival of Carols.

2016: Elizabeth Ekholm of Montreal, Quebec for Prayer of St. Francis.

This work was performed at the June 4, 2017, Choral Splendour concert.

2015: Stuart Beach of Regina, Saskatchewan for Psalm 100.

This work was performed at the January 2016 Choral Conductors’ Symposium concert.