Polar winds v. Tropic thunder

And so my winter break is coming to an end. Next Monday I start my second semester of graduate studies, where I shall immerse myself anew in music, music, and music (and the midwest weather). Between a musicology course in twentieth-century music to twentieth -century musical analysis, choral conducting, graduate musical composition, and ensembles. This semester will be challenging, but rewarding, I’m sure. Let’s see what this semester brings. Up until now I will be a part of the IMEA in Illinois, and there might be a slight (very slight) possibility that I can get enough funds to go to the ACDA convention this year. If I get the chance, it would be amazing. It’s still somewhat incredible and humbling coming back to the island and meet again my professors and peers. The pressure is still on when the hint, again, that I am the “new guinea pig” because before me nobody has done a Masters in Music, specially Choral Conducting. I just have to work harder this semester. As we say in the Choral Department (thanks to me) “If you try hard enough and believe in yourself…”

To enter or not to enter?

Ok. So here’s the thing. There’s a competition for the American Choral Conductors Asociation called “Raymond W. Brock Memorial Student Composition Contest” here are the guidelines for said competition.

The Raymond W. Brock Memorial Commission

The Raymond W. Brock Memorial Choral Series was established in 1991 to honor the life and contributions of Raymond W. Brock, who served as Administrative Assistant for ACDA from 1987 until his untimely death in 1991.Brock

Annually, the ACDA Executive Committee will commission a recognized composer to write a choral composition in an effort to perpetuate quality choral repertoire. Funds for this commission will be paid from the Raymond W. Brock Memorial Endowment, a fund established and maintained by the membership of ACDA.

Guidelines for commissioned compositions:

1. Compositions that have a sacred text are preferred, however it is not required that the text come from the Bible.
2. Compositions that use voices are preferred.
3. The music must be substantial and accessible.
4. The music must be of a kind and quality that will live and last for a long period of time.
5. All commissioned compositions will be performed publicly for the first time at a National or Division Conference of the American Choral Directors Association.

Raymond W. Brock Student Composition Competition

In an effort to find another means for furthering its mission to promote choral music and ensure its future, ACDA established the Raymond W. Brock Memorial Student Composition Contest in 1998.  The objectives of the contest are three-fold:

1. To acknowledge and reward outstanding undergraduate and graduate student composers,
2. To encourage choral composition of the highest caliber, and
3. To further promote student activity at ACDA division and national conventions.

The winner of the composition contest will be awarded a $1,000 cash prize, airfare to the ACDA convention, hotel accommodations, convention registration, and a performance of the work on the main stage by a choral ensemble selected by the Convention Committee.

Applications are typically made available in March of each year in Choral Journal and on ACDA’s website.

So. After reading all of this I don’t know if I should enter the competition or not. I feel as if I’m not a good composer or that my music isn’t good enough for that level. What advice would you give me? Should I?