An American Baptist Church
A Welcoming and Affirming Church

2017 Anthem Competition Guidelines

2016 Anthem Competition

First Baptist Church of Worcester, Massachusetts
Tenth Annual International Anthem Competition
$1600.00 prize

To composers under the age of 40
born after January 2, 1977.

Anthem submissions will be written according to the following guidelines:

1. SATB-4-part style with keyboard accompaniment (organ or piano is acceptable) and one solo instrument of the composer’s choosing.  Part writing may include unison and various voice combinations or unaccompanied sections. Minimal divisi and inserted solos accepted. All melodies must be original and not based on hymntunes or preexistent tunes of other composers. The accompanying instruments can be used in whatever manner you choose with or without choir. The maximum number of accompanying musicians is 3, should you choose to use both keyboard instruments (one organist, one pianist, one solo instrumentalist). Length should be from approximately five to eight minutes maximum. Compositions should be innovative and performable by a non-professional SATB choir and instrumentalists to be acceptable for use in public worship.

2. Text for 2017 competition is Ephesians 2:14, New Revised Standard Version Bible. The text may be edited as much or as little as you desire. No other texts are acceptable.

3. Entries must be submitted without identification on manuscript. All entries will be judged blind without reference to the composer. All entries will be numbered upon receipt. Submissions should be immediately readable, preferably set in one of the major computer music writing programs.

4. All entries should include proper full name, identification, proof of birth date and birth location, and current address and phone information in an enclosed sealed business envelope. A copy of your current drivers license or government documentation will prove proper identification. Include only your zip code or country code as the return address on the outside mailer.

5. All entries are to include a $20.00 US funds check or money order made out First Baptist Church of Worcester MA. We do not have a PayPal account.

6. Entries mailed to:

2017 Anthem Competition, First Baptist Church,

111 Park Avenue, Worcester MA 01609

7. Electronic submissions accepted by email to in pdf format with proper cover letter for identification with the above requirements followed. If you email your score, please remember you must mail your check and identification the same day or earlier.

8. Postmark/email date no later than March 1, 2017 barring any national emergency holiday or mail strike. If such an emergency occurs our deadline would be extended to the next official business day.

Impartial judges will jury entries with the winner being announced by March 7, 2017. All guidelines are to be strictly followed or you will be disqualified. An official first performance will be given at First Baptist Church on the Sunday of Music & Arts Weekend in April, 2017.

A recording will be made and provided to the composer after the first performance at a time convenient to the choir and director. The prize of $1600.00 will be sent upon reception of a final approved manuscript by all three judges. Compositions from a winner will not be accepted two years in succession. FBC retains the rights not to select a winner if no composition is deemed prize-worthy.

The composer retains the rights to publish the composition, but will acknowledge on the manuscript for publishing that it was won in the Tenth Annual International Anthem Competition of The First Baptist Church of Worcester, Massachusetts. First Baptist Church will have unlimited rights to copy, perform and record the composition for its own use. Any profits from sales of a recording by First Baptist Church will include 10% for the composer.

Please direct all questions to Wesley Hall, Minister of Music, 508-755-6143 x227 or check A good resource to consider for composing for the pipe organ is A Guide to the Pipe Organ for Composers and Others (available through the American Guild of Organists