2019 Barlow Prize

Barlow Prize 2019

$12,000 Commission

New Work for SATB Unaccompanied Choir

The winning composer will receive a $12,000 commission for a major new work of 9-12 minutes for SATB unaccompanied choir.  The work will be performed by a consortium of choirs: BYU Singers (Utah); two-time Grammy nominated choir, Seraphic Fire (Florida); and the 2017 Grammy nominated choir and Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence recipient, The Crossing (Pennsylvania).

The work is expected to meet the highest artistic requirements for the medium.  Additional specifications for the work will be negotiated among the Barlow Endowment, the composer, and the performing consortium. Half of the commission fee will be paid when the contract for the commission is signed, and the other half will be paid when the finished score is submitted to the Endowment.

Guidelines for Applying

If you experience difficulties during the application process, please call or e-mail us:


There are no restrictions with regard to musical style, nationality, age, gender, race, religion, or political persuasion. The only limitations are:

1)  Composers who have won the Barlow Prize in the previous five years will not be considered in the Prize competition. FAQS

2)  Members of the Barlow Boards are not eligible. FAQS

Application Procedures
New procedures for applying: Start the application process for the Barlow Prize by clicking on the application link found below. Upon completion, an e-mail will be sent to the applicant with further instructions and with the application PDF attached.
  • Note: Your application is saved automatically and closing the browser will not result in lost data. In order to resume the application process, you must re-open the application link on the same device you began your application.

  • Anonymous submission is not necessary. FAQS
  • Supporting materials should be sent by regular or express mail and must include a background sketch/ brief bio (one page), résumé of compositional activity, and exactly two (2) submitted hard-copy scores. (REMINDER: submit EXACTLY two physical scores. No electronic scores will be accepted.) FAQS
    • Of the two works you submit, one should be your best work (regardless of instrumentation).
    • The other should be your best work that is closest to the consortium/performer requirement for which you are applying. It need not be exact, but can feature the category in another context. The judges will be interested in seeing how you handle the instrument(s) in as close a context as you can show.
    • Additionally, one of these two chosen compositions (not an arrangement or recasting of an earlier work) must be no more than five (5) years old.
    • The Endowment does not provide advice to applicants regarding which piece of music best represents them and their abilities.
  • Recordings should be uploaded as part of the application form and should be uploaded in .aac or .mp3 formats only. Scores with recordings are considered extremely helpful in the judging process. Live recordings are strongly encouraged; MIDI realizations are discouraged. Judges will not review DVDs or CDs. FAQS
Submission and Care of materials

Below is a basic checklist of the submission materials for the Barlow Prize competition. All materials must be received by the Endowment before close of business on June 1. FAQS

Prize Materials
From your email: Printed PDF of Online Application
Exactly two (2) hard-copy scores FAQS
Recordings, if included, should be uploaded with the application form in .aac or .mp3 formats. FAQS
Composer Résumé of compositional activity and brief biographical sketch FAQS

The Barlow Endowment does not return scores or any other materials submitted by applicants. FAQS


Applications and all materials must be RECEIVED before close of business on June 1st of each calendar year. This deadline is absolute—the Endowment is not obligated to respond to composer requests for any exception, and will not consider applications or materials received after that date. We encourage contestants from outside the United States to mail their materials early to avoid problems caused by postal delays. Note: the university does not receive mail on Saturday, Sunday, or US national holidays. FAQS


The Barlow Prize will be judged during the summer by the Barlow Endowment Board of Advisors and additional guest judges who represent the interests and perspectives of the performers. The Barlow Endowment will notify the winner, participants, and friends of the Endowment of the results before August 31. FAQS If, in the opinion of the judging panel, no applicant merits the Barlow Prize, it will not be awarded.