Michael Kerschner / Artistic Director


Since the spring of 2001, the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus has provided a close­knit fellowship for talented singers in their twenties and early thirties, assembling some of the finest choral musicians from the many young people seeking an artistic life in this dynamic city. Under the baton of Artistic Director Michael Kerschner, YNYC’s 80+ mixed voice choir and 40+ Women’s Ensemble (WYNYC) perform works by classical greats such as Brahms, Duruflé, and Bernstein and has commissioned more than thirty new works through the annual Competition for Young Composers, which counts Joshua Shank, Jake Runestead, and other now-­familiar names among its alumni. In the 12 years of the Competition, over $20,000 has been awarded to exciting young artists from all over the world.

We are excited to continue this tradition of supporting new choral work and talent in our 14th year of organizing the Competition. We invite interested artists under the age of 35 to apply with a sample of work written for choir alone or for choir and an accompanying instrument. Previous entrants not chosen as finalists are encouraged to re­apply. Applicants should submit their application by August 15th, 2017.​

Three competition finalists will be notified by September 1st, 2017. ​YNYC’s Mixed Ensemble will commission a new work from each finalist and premiere the pieces at our March 2018 concert, at which a Competition winner is announced. Concerts are built around a theme, which also serves as a prompt for the composed works. Commissioned pieces should be for a cappella mixed choir. Composers are responsible for securing rights to textual material. The first place winner will receive the $1,000 Nathan Davis Prize in Composition. The two finalists will each receive $500.

Program Timeline

August 15, 2017 Postmark date for completed applications.
September 1, 2017 Finalist announcement.
December 31, 2017 Draft due of finalists’ commissioned works. (Please note that finalists who have not submitted a draft of their work by this date will forfeit their finalist status in the YNYC Competition for Young Composers. Their piece will not be performed and they will not receive award money or compensation for travel expenses, etc.)
January 31, 2018 Final draft due of finalists’ commissioned works.
March 2018 Premiere of finalists’ commissioned works and announcement of awards for the 14th Annual Young New Yorkers’ Chorus Competition for Young Composers.

Judging Panel

Michael Kerschner – Artistic Director & Conductor, The Young New Yorkers’ Chorus

Chris Mueller – composer and Assistant Artistic Director, The Young New Yorkers’ Chorus

Other choral conductors and composers from the New York metro area

Eligibility and Guidelines

Applicants must be under the age of 35 years old at the time of the premiere concert in June. If chosen as a finalists, applicant must be willing to travel to New York City for concert week rehearsals and June concert. YNYC anticipates awarding small travel grants up to $250 to finalists if needed, and can also can arrange homestays with choir members.

All submissions must contain:

  1. Completed Application – Available at www.ynyc.org/composers-compeition/apply-online

  2. One-Page Professional Resume

  3. Score and Recording of an Original Composition – The submitted composition may be scored for mixed choir or women’s choir. It can be a cappella or with piano, organ, harp, or percussion accompaniment. The recording must be between 3 and 10 minutes in length. Excerpted or partial recordings of a larger work are acceptable, but please send only one work.  Midi recordings are acceptable, but a live recording is preferred.

  4. One-Page Description of the Submitted Work – (Approx. 250 words)

  5. $25 Application Fee – This fee can be paid through our secure online payment form; if you would prefer to pay by check or money order, please contact Emma at emma@ynyc.org for mailing information.  Checks and money orders must be in US dollars, made payable to The Young New Yorkers’ Chorus.


Click here to apply.