TMC Choral Composition Competition

Emerging composers – new works

The TMC 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.

TMC 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 TMC at one of their concerts.

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

2021 competition

TMC is accepting submissions from emerging composers who are Canadian, or who work, live or study in Canada. The submission deadline is December 3, 2021.

Works to be submitted must be

  • Not more than 5 minutes in length
  • Original, rather than an arrangement of a pre-existing work or melody
  • Scored for SATB or SSAATTBB a cappella or with piano accompaniment
  • Composed using a text that is 1) original (written by the composer), 2) in the public domain, or 3) under copyright, but with written permission of the copyright holder. We encourage composers to choose text by a poet from an under-represented community
  • A cappella works should be written in open score and include a piano reduction
  • The composition must not have been commissioned, published, performed or recorded at the time of entry, and must remain so until premiered by TMC.

TMC Artistic Director Jean-Sébastien Vallée will chair a jury of music experts who will review the applications. The decision of the jury is final.

Submission details:

  • Please submit 2 copies of your work online through the application form
  • The composer’s name, text source and any other identifying marks should appear only on the first page of the first copy of your manuscript. The jurors will receive anonymized scores to review
  • Deadline to submit works is December 3, 2021

Applicants must complete the online entry form


The Winning Composition

The winning composer will receive the Debbie Fleming Prize for Choral Composition, a cash award of $1,000.

The winning composition will be performed at the TMC’s Free concert on February 5, 2022 which concludes the annual Choral Conductors’ Symposium.

The winner of the competition will give the right to the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir to webcast the premiere performance of the winning composition live on and post a video of the performance on YouTube.


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 TMC’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 TMC 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.