2017 New Psalm Contest at Church of the Servant

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In an effort to encourage Psalm-singing, Church of the Servant invites congregational songwriters to submit a Psalm-based song to its 2017 COS New Psalm Contest. The winner will receive a $500 award. There is no entry fee and the contest is open to all. Submissions must be emailed or postmarked by October 1, 2017. The song will be premiered in worship on January 28, 2018. Church of the Servant is a Christian Reformed Church with a rich history of encouraging the arts in worship. Its worship is Reformed, liturgical, participatory, eclectic, and open to creative new worship expressions.

This contest is made possible by a generous donation in memory of  Ben Fackler, who loved all things musical.

WHAT TO SUBMIT

  • A congregational song based on a Psalm or a significant portion of a Psalm.
  • Any musical style or lyrical form. Creativity is encouraged. Settings may include solo, choir, as long as the congregation is given a significant role. Available musicians include piano (no organ), choir, cantors/vocal soloists, a variety of advanced instrumentalists, Joyful Noise Orchestra (small orchestra), Guitarchestra (folk ensemble of guitars, fiddle, accordion, etc), and hand percussion.
  • Settings of less frequently sung Psalms are always encouraged.
  • Music submissions should be at minimum in lead sheet (melody, lyrics, chord symbols) or hymn (two staves, four parts) format. Fully notated accompaniment parts are encouraged, and MP3 demos are strongly encouraged. Multi-page full scores are acceptable, but please include in your submission a version that is no longer than two pages.
  • Texts in languages other than English are welcome but must include a singable, English translation.
  • Texts for re-tuned hymns must be public domain or include statement of author’s permission. Newly authored texts must, at minimum, include a tune suggestion. Please note that new texts and newly composed tunes are given greater consideration than new texts set to known tunes.
  • We require the use of gender-neutral language for people (“human” instead of “man,” avoiding “he” when referring to both genders, etc.)

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  • Submissions may be emailed as PDF attachments to music@coscrc.org or mailed to New Psalm Contest, Church of the Servant, 3835 Burton St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.
  • Do not print your name or identifying marks on the music itself. Instead, include all contact information in the body of the email or in a cover letter.
  • No more than two submissions per person.
  • Please do not resubmit songs entered in this contest previously.
  • Only unpublished songs that have received no awards may be submitted. If a song has been self-published (website, blog, etc.), please include link or information in cover letter.
  • If a submission is co-authored or uses copyrighted material, proof of permission must be included.
  • Submissions will not be returned.
  • All submissions must be emailed or postmarked by October 1, 2017.

JUDGING

  • Submissions will be judged on their quality and usability at Church of the Servant.
  • $500 will be awarded the winner. Judges have the right to award no winner or divide the award money as they see fit.
  • Contest results will be made public by December 1, 2017.
  • The premiere will take place in worship at Church of the Servant on January 28, 2018. The winning composer is welcome to attend, but travel funds are not available. Winner grants Church of the Servant permission to post a recording of the premiere on its website.
  • In addition to the first ranked submission, the judges will also make known other high-ranking submissions. Composers will be contacted before their information or submitted materials are made publicly available.
  • Composer retains all rights to the song and is encouraged to seek publication.
  • All future dissemination of the song will include the phrase “Winner of the Church of the Servant 2017 New Psalm Contest, in memory of Ben Fackler.”

A printable PDF document of these contest guidelines is also available. Questions should be directed to Larry Figueroa (music@coscrc.org; 616-956-7611)

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