Composition Competition

The second annual Darkwater Women in Music Festival 

is pleased to announce a call for compositions from female and/or non-binary identifying composers for our first Compostition Competition.

Deadline : December 1, 2019

First Prize : $750

Second Prize : $500

Third Prize : $250

Darkwater is a festival that celebrates women in music through papers, panels, and performances. The word "darkwater" is the literal Carolina Algonquian meaning of Lumbee, the American Indian tribe that built Pembroke and UNCP. By calling ourselves the Darkwater Festival, we tie ourselves to our place in North Carolina and to the Lumbee, a matriarchal culture with many strong women in its history.

The Program Committee invites compositions by female and/or non-binary identifying composers. The Committee will select 3-5 compositions to be performed in a live concert at the Darkwater Festival held on March 6 & 7, 2020 at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and first, second, and third prize will be given after the performance.

Compositions should be written in standard notation for flute, clarinet, cello, and piano, or a smaller subset of that instrumentation. Works should be no longer than 10 minutes. Completed submissions will include a PDF score, a recording or midi file, and a short bio (200 words or less). PDF parts must be immediately available when asked. Works do not need to be premieres but should not be previously published. Composers may only submit one work.

Please email proposals to Sarah Busman at with the subject “Composition Submission.”

There is no submission fee for this proposal. Performers selected agree to attend the festival at their own expense, including the registration fee which will be paid by February 1. 

Final Round works will be performed by Catchfire Collective live in-concert.

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