Youth Inspiring Youth – WomenSing’s Choral Composition Competition
With a focus on youth, opportunities and a creative process, WomenSing’s Youth Inspiring Youth—Commissioning Emerging Composers project provides the opportunity for young composers to create new choral music, mentored by internationally recognized composers. Through a blind application/submission process judged by WomenSing’s Artistic Leadership Team, up to two competition winners are commissioned to write treble choral works. Texts for these works are provided by the award-winning children’s poetry from the River of Words project, which is part of the Center for Environmental Literacy at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California. In Youth Inspiring Youth (YIY), all participants take part in a series of events, including public workshops and WomenSing’s new music festival, Treble Voices Now, culminating in the commissioned works being premiered in concert by WomenSing. Since the program’s inception in 2008, WomenSing has commissioned eleven pieces.
During its May, 2011 Washington DC tour, WomenSing presented YIY pieces in collaboration with the Peabody Children’s Chorus at a concert presented by the Library of Congress Center for the Book. Along with performances at multiple Bay Area concerts, YIY pieces have also been performed by WomenSing at the Washington National Cathedral, and at the Chorus America 2011 annual convention in San Francisco.
In the video above, see interviews with Martin Benvenuto of WomenSing, mentor Libby Larsen, and 2010 composers Elizabeth Lim and Joshua Fishbein. Clips from the 2010 workshop with Libby Larsen, the composers, and WomenSing provide an interesting look at the collaborative process. “With this program, the chorus is developing an avid thirst for being a part of the creative process,” Benvenuto says. “They are fascinated with trying things out at the workshop and seeing how these composers are thinking.” Womensing’s new music festival, Treble Voices Now, inaugurated in 2014, is bringing this inside look to an even wider audience, including high school choral students and the local community.
The photos below provide a glimpse of recent Youth Inspiring Youth Composers’ Workshops and the Treble Voices Now Festival.
The Youth Inspiring Youth Composers Public Workshop and Reception are funded in part through New Music USA’s MetLife Creative Connections program.
Interesting YIY Links
For more information about our YIY program, check out these articles:
YIY: A 6-Year Adventure in Creativity, 2/18/13
Catching up with YIY Composer Elizabeth Lim, 2/18/13
YIY Composer Wins Award, 3/25/12
New YIY Compositions in Rehearsal, 1/30/12