CODA's International Composition Contest for 2013 has come to an exciting and successful conclusion after three exciting days in Salt Lake City at the University of Utah (September 26-28).

It is our great honor to announce the winners of the CODA 2013 International Composition Contest!

             2013 Winner Mark Dal Porto

*1st Prize:  $2,500 Cash Prize, featured performance at the CODA 2014 National Conference at Texas Christian University, Forth Worth, Texas, and additional performances by the 30+ Coda Composition Contest Consortium orchestras:  Song of  Eternity", by composer Mark Dal Porto

*2nd Prize: $1,000 Cash prize: "Tragedy Tomorrow", by composer Michael Gilbertson

*3rd Prize: $500 Cash prize: "Big Rip", by composer Michael-Thomas Foumai

*Additional finalists:
"Dervish", by composer Justin Merritt
"Festival Overture", by composer Jianjun He

In addition, all composers will receive a digital recording of the University of Utah's final round performance of their work and the PDF scores and mp3 recordings of the top five works will be featured (soon) on the CODA national website, along with contact information for the composers. (NB. These are great pieces of music, and you may wish to consider programming several of them on your concert series this year and next!)

Special thanks to our very hard working CODA preliminary round judges who received over 140 entries from around the world and selected our top five composer finalists.

                                     CODA conductors and judges in Final Round of the CODA 2013 Composition Contest
        (from L: Anthony Holland, Miguel  Chuaqui, Sergio Bernal, Thomas Cockrell, Kory Katseanes, Robert Baldwin)
                                                                     and the University of Utah Philharmonia



Preliminary Round Judges:
Johannes Dietrich, Lebanon Valley College
Nathaniel Parker, Marywood University
Jason Rinehart, University of Louisiana at Monroe

Many thanks to our final round conductors who demonstrated the highest level of professionalism, musical artistry and enthusiasm while rehearsing and performing the five finalists' works:

Robert Baldwin, University of Utah
Kory Katseanes, Brigham Young University
Thomas Cockrell, University of Arizona
Sergio Bernal, Utah State University

We would also like to express CODA's gratitude to Professor Miguel Chuaqui, Head of Composition for the University of Utah, who chaired the final round adjudication panel:

Final Round Adjudication Panel:
Miguel Chuaqui, University of Utah (Head of Composition)
Robert Baldwin, University of Utah
Kory Katseanes, Brigham Young University
Thomas Cockrell, University of Arizona
Sergio Bernal, Utah State University

Special Thanks to:  Dr. James Gardner, Director of the School of Music at the University of Utah for his support and assistance throughout the entire event; to Robert Baldwin of the University of Utah for hosting the final round of the contest and for his generous support and assistance with every aspect of the final round of the contest; to his Assistant Conductor Larry Spell for helping rehearse the orchestra and to the entire Utah Philharmonia, which is a fabulous orchestra of remarkable and talented musicians!

**Special Citation of Excellence**

The CODA Preliminary Round Judges have also requested that we designate the following works with a "Citation of Excellence".  While these works may have not made it to the final round of our competition, the judges felt these works were so strong that they deserved special notice by all CODA members, and would be excellent works to consider programming at CODA member schools:

1) "Fanfare in a Continuum of Gradual Momentum", by composer Steve Kornicki
2) "Coyote Dances", by composer William  Campbell
3) "Variations on a Motive of  Beethoven", by composer Gordon Ring

- An additional email will be sent shortly to all CODA Composition Contest Consortium Members regarding obtaining score and parts of the winning composition.

Conductor Robert Baldwin leads the University of Utah Philharmonia in the final round of the CODA 2013 International Composition Contest



Coda 2013 International Composition Contest Finalists

  • “Song of Eternity”: Mark Dal Porto: The works of Mark Dal Porto have been performed by such ensembles as the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Kiev Chamber Choir, Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, Oklahoma City University Symphony Orchestra, Ukraine Wind Symphony, and others.  A former student of Donald Grantham, Dal Porto received degrees from California State University, Sacramento (B.A. Piano Performance, M.A. Theory/Composition), and the University of Texas at Austin (D.M.A. Composition).  Since 2001, Dal Porto has served on the faculty at Eastern New Mexico University and can be seen as a frequent guest composer and conductor.
  • “Tragedy Tomorrow”: Michael Gilbertson, a native of Dubuque, Iowa, studied composition with Samuel Adler, John Corigliano, and Christopher Rouse at The Juilliard School, and at the Yale School of Music with Aaron Jay Kernis, Martin Bresnick, Ezra Laderman and Christopher Theofanidis. Gilbertson’s music has earned five Morton Gould Awards from ASCAP, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a BMI Student Composer Award.Gilbertson is currently collaborating with playwright Caroline McGraw on an opera commissioned by the Washington National Opera, which will be premiered at The Kennedy Center as part of their American Opera Initiative in November, 2013. He has twice composed and conducted ballets for the New York Choreographic Institute, working with choreographers David Morse and Daniel Baker. His fifth ballet, a collaboration with choreographer Norbert De La Cruz, was premiered by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in July, 2013.
  • “Big Rip”: Composer Michael-Thomas Foumai (b.1987, Honolulu,HI) was recently awarded the 2013 American Prize in Orchestral Composition. Michael’s other recent accolades include the title of Composer of the Year (2012) by the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra and the 2012 Jacob Druckman Prize. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra and the Milwaukee Symphony among others have performed his orchestral works. Michael holds degrees in composition from the University of Hawaii and University of Michigan where he is currently a doctoral fellow.
  • “Dervish”: Composer: Justin Merritt (bn. 1975) was the youngest-ever winner of the ASCAP Foundation/Rudolph Nissim award in 2001 for Janus Mask for Orchestra.  He is the winner of many other awards including the 2011 McKnight Fellowship, the 2008 Copland Award, the 2008 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute Award for River of Blood, the 2006 Polyphonos Prize for Hay Días, the 2006 VocalEssence Essentially Chorale Competition for Adoro Te Devote, the 2000 Left Coast Chamber Ensemble Composition Competition Award for The Day Florestan Murdered Magister Raro, and the 2001 Kuttner String Quartet Competition for Ravening. His music has been heard across North America, Europe, and Asia.
  • “Festival Overture”: Jianjun HeA native of China, Jianjun He received his BA in violin performance from Northwestern National University, MA in music theory from The Arts Academy of China, and DMA in composition from West Virginia University where he studied composition with John Beall. His compositions, numbering over sixty for a wide variety of media, are enjoying growing success in Asia and the United States. They have been featured at numerous new music related festivals and conferences. CD recordings are available on ERM, VMM, Mark Masters, New Ariel, Innova, and Da Di labels. Dr. He is currently Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at Jacksonville University (FL).