Choral Composition

Music composition is an absolutely vast field of study. There is an impossibly huge amount of knowledge on the subject and an astronomical amount of works written for another infinite number of ensembles. As someone who wants to learn about composing, knowing how huge the study of composition is can be quite daunting. So, I decided I will focus in on studying choral composition for In-depth 2016-17. 

Coastal Sound Youth Choir, Indiekör 2016

Another reason for me choosing to study choral composition, is that there are more opportunities and people I know in the choral world that can help me in the project. I am a member of the Coastal Sound Youth Choir and volunteer weekly with the Coastal Sound Boychoir, and my mom is a manager of the choir, along with having many connections of her own in the choral society which I can tap into. Studying choral composition makes most sense for me in terms of finding a mentor and since I am constantly surrounded with choral music. It is the most accessible to me, and it is something that I have been wanting to do for a while. As well, choral composition is an incredibly interesting and challenging topic and that it’s something that I’ve always thought I could do, but never have. It is something I think I will greatly enjoy learning about and will benefit me in the future for recreational purposes, and if I ever decide to go into music post-secondary.

As far as mentors go, I would like to meet with them at least once a month, no matter who they are. My mentor would help me learn more about musical theory, teach me on how to use certain chord changes or voicings, as well as critique my work as I go along. I plan for my mentor to be someone who is a part of the choral community in Vancouver who can offer me insights as to what works and doesn’t work in choral pieces.


To give my project a goal, I am working towards submitting my completed choral piece to the Vancouver Chamber Choir’s Young Composer’s Competition. The submission date for the competition is March 15, 2017, so I have a solid due date as to when I have to have my project completed by. It is a competition for young composers, both locally and abroad, and has a theme on “Canada” as it is the country’s 150th anniversary this year. A pdf of this year’s competition can be found here.

By the end of this project, I hope to have a better knowledge, understanding, and appreciation for choral composition and be able to apply this knowledge to other compositional endeavours I may pursue, whether it be for instruments or voice. By the end of this project, I also hope to have gained a better work ethic and developed my own method of concentrating and working that will not only help me compose for this project, but carry on into school and other work. Finally, by the end of this project, I would like to have a better appreciation for music. Seeing all the effort and time that it takes to create music will give me an appreciation for what composers do and how much they put into it.

“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts – such is the duty of the artist.”
– Robert Schumann

In conclusion, I am very excited to be doing this project and I believe that with a good attitude and work ethic, my goals will be easily achieved in this project and it will be enjoyable to do. I am excited to see how this goes!

PS. if you are interested, <here> is a personal blog I will be using to post my experiences, feelings, joys, distresses on composition and music in general. This blog is casual and will be updated more frequently.

1 thought on “Choral Composition

  1. Great start, Ben. I look forward to you teaching us how to compose a choral piece. Great motivation to submit it to a competition in March.

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