Composition Competition

The Johan Franco Committee of the GCNA holds contests for new musical compositions written for the carillon.

GCNA 75th Congress Composition Contest

The complete official Composition Competition Rules are as follows:

To celebrate the 75th annual Congress of The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA), the GCNA Johan Franco Committee is pleased to announce a special 2017 carillon composition competition. Two monetary prizes ($1,200 for first place and $600 for second place) will be awarded, in addition to additional performance awards. The GCNA will publish the first and second place compositions, and performance awards will be given the option of GCNA publication. In a collaboration with the North American Carillon School (NACS), the first-place composition will additionally serve as the required piece in the 2017 NACS performance competition, to be performed by each of the five NACS finalists. All compositions awarded prizes and performance recognition will have the opportunity to be performed at the 75th GCNA Congress in June 2017.

Eligibility: Open to all (except members of the 2016/17 Franco Committee), regardless of age, nationality, or prior competition experience.

Submissions: Composers are asked to submit works that are 5-10 minutes in length. Submissions must be original compositions, not arrangements or transcriptions of existing works. Each composer may submit only one work. The composition must be playable by a solo carillonneur on a four-octave carillon: 47 bells (c,d,e… chromatic to c4 - with low C# and D# omitted), with a 2-octave pedalboard (c, d, e...c2). Notating bells outside of this range is permitted provided that substitutions are given in the 47-bell range. Compositions that have already been performed or published are ineligible. Public performance of any winning composition prior to the 2017 GCNA congress and NACS competition will be grounds for disqualification.

Submissions must be received by November 1, 2016. Composers may submit works via email to, or mailed to Hunter Chase, 1218 W George St., Apt G, Chicago IL, 60657. Submissions will be anonymized for the jury. Please do not include your name or any identifying information on the composition itself. Instead, please separately include your contact information.

Composing for the Carillon: We recommend that composers less familiar with the carillon consult "Composing for the Carillon: Recommendations and Examples" by John Gouwens. View the document and corresponding video.

Prizes: The jury guarantees the awarding of both First Prize and Second Prize. The jury reserves the right to award any number of Performance Awards. Each composition can only receive one of the three prizes.

First prize: $1200; performance at the 75th GCNA Congress; serves as the required work in the 2017 NACS competition (an additional 5 performances).
Second prize: $600; performance at the 75th GCNA Congress.
Performance Awards: May be awarded at the discretion of the Franco Committee to any number of submitted compositions that, if the composer wishes, will be published and performed at the 75th GCNA Congress. These awards have no monetary value.

Publication & Copyright: 1st and 2nd prize-winning compositions will be published by the GCNA in accordance with its generally applicable rules. Thus, by entering the competition, entrants agree to sign over publishing rights to the GCNA if awarded 1st or 2nd prize. Performance awards will be given the option for publication.

The composers who receive 1st prize and 2nd prize will be required: (a) To assign to the GCNA all publication rights of the composition; and (b) To warrant to the GCNA that the composition does not violate any existing copyright in whole or in part, and that (s)he has the lawful right to authorize publication of the composition. If the composer has any arrangement with any performing rights organizations, such as ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, SOCAN, and the like, the composer will be required to instruct the affiliated organization not to collect performance fees solely on the basis of this composition. (In some cases, this may entail waiving rights to performance royalties.) 1st and 2nd prize-winning compositions will be published and distributed by the GCNA. Composers that receive Performance Awards will be offered publication with the GCNA if they wish. Compositions that do not win a prize will remain the sole property of the composer. Judges' copies of the compositions will be destroyed following the competition.

The Jury: Eight members of the Franco Committee serve as the jury in this competition: Margaret Angellini, Wesley Arai, Joey Brink, Sally Harwood, Dave Johnson, Thomas Lee, Tiffany Ng, and Neil Thornock. The jury will evaluate submissions based on their usefulness to the carillon community, effectiveness on the carillon, playability, originality, and general musical interest.

To preserve anonymity of the composers, we ask that composers refrain from contacting, directly or indirectly, any members of the jury. Questions may be directed to Hunter Chase at

Results: All prize-winning compositions will be announced March 15, 2017.

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