|INTERNATIONAL COMPOSITION COMPETITION GCNA|
CULVER - In the interest of encouraging new works composed expressly for the carillon, the Johan Franco Composition Fund of The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America organised in 2003 a Composition Competition. Anyone, regardless of age or nationality, was allowed to enter the competition with one or more compositions on the condition that these compositions had not been performed publicly, published, or awarded a prize in previous competitions.
All compositions had to be playable on a carillon of 47 bells (with low C# and D# omitted) with a 2-octave pedalboard and traditional mechanical action. Optional notes (written in parentheses) for instruments larger than 47 bells were allowed, provided the piece could be played effectively on a carillon with that 47-bell range.
The judgment of the committee was final and to assure the most objective judging possible, the identity of the composers was not revealed to the judges until after the completion of the judging process.
Judges were asked to evaluate the submitted compositions based on the following criteria:
Neil Thornock, a doctoral student in composition at Indiana University, won the first prize of USD 800 with his Sonata in three movements. The second prize of USD 400 was for Geert D'hollander, city carillonneur of Antwerp, Ghent, Sint Niklaas, and Lier in Belgium, for his new piece Two Poems for Children.
A new commissioned work, sponsored by the Johan Franco Composition Fund, was also completed in spring 2004: Pealing Fire, by the American composer Libby Larsen. One of the most sought-after composers in the United States today, Libby Larsen has written for all manner of instrumental and vocal media, solos and ensembles. Pealing Fire is a fresh addition to the repertoire, bringing together numerous idiomatic bell figurations, along with the "Veni creator" plainchant, which is woven throughout the piece.
All three pieces were premiered on June 7, 2004, in the opening recital of the congress of the GCNA at The Culver Academies, Culver, Indiana. Neil Thornock gave the premiere performance of his Sonata. At the composer's request, John Gouwens gave the premiere of Geert D'hollander's Two Poems for Children. Both pieces, in accord with the terms of the competition, have been published by the GCNA. Gouwens also gave the premiere performance of Pealing Fire, which will be published in the near future by Oxford University Press.
The GCNA will hold a composition competition again in two years, with essentially the same rules. The deadline will probably be January 15, 2006.