Baltimore Choral Arts Society :

Programs for Students

The Student Composer Project encourages young people to compose music for chorus. This annual event has been a great success since its inception in 1990. 

Baltimore Choral Arts' education programs receive generous support from the Sheridan Foundation, the Witt/Hoey Fund, and the Macht Fund of THE ASSOCIATED.

Baltimore Choral Arts Society Student Composer Project

2014-15 Season

Master Class and Recording:  Re-scheduled October 7, 2015

Composers selected for 2015 are:

Nicolas P. deGroot, Ledah Finck and Elliot Grabill. 

The re-scheduled 2015 Student Composer Project was held at Grace United Methodist Church on Wednesday, October 7, 2015. 


From left to right:  Pianist Choo Choo Hu, Music Director Tom Hall, Composer Mentors Michael Rickelton, Douglas Buchanan, Joshua Bornfield, and John Belkot, and Student Composers Ledah Finck, Nicolas DeGroot, and Elliot Grabill. 


Baltimore Choral Arts Society Student Composer Project

2015-16 Season

The Baltimore Choral Arts Society is pleased to announce the 2016 Student Composer Project, now in its 26th year.  The project offers three Maryland composers the opportunity to have their works performed by Tom Hall, Leo Wanenchak, and the BCAS Chamber Chorus in a public Master Class in the spring of 2016.

Selected composers will receive the opportunity to work with an experienced composer in the field prior to the event, and will receive further feedback and suggestions from composers and singers during the Master Class. A recording of the performance will be given to each composer. 

2015-16 Guidelines for Submission of Compositions


Composers must be Maryland residents and have been enrolled in high school or college as of December 31, 2015.  Composers whose works have not been chosen previously will be given preference.  More than one composer’s work will be featured in this event. The piece must be no longer than five minutes long. The work may be scored for Chorus and Piano or Unaccompanied Chorus (mixed chorus, women’s chorus, or men’s chorus).


All compositions must be newly composed works.  Arrangements of pre-existing compositions (i.e. carols, etc.) will not be considered.  The text may be sacred or secular, in any language.  The composer must secure copyright and permission to use published texts.

Deadlines for Submission of Compositions: To be determined

Submit manuscript to:

Baltimore Choral Arts

1316 Park Avenue, Baltimore, MD  21217

It will be the responsibility of the composers whose works are chosen to have piano/vocal scores typeset and copyrighted.  BCAS can assist composers in this process.  Hand-written manuscripts will not be used. 


Master Class 

Date and time to be announced for the 2015-16 season. The new works will be performed by Tom HallLeo Wanenchak and members of the BCAS Full Chorus.  Biographies of the composers and texts of the works will appear in the program.  Composers will get feedback and suggestions from the participating Master Teacher, and the singers.  A recording of the performance will be given to each composer.

Student Composer Project Composer Mentors:

    John Belkot's "[music] carries listeners into aesthetic regions at the intersection of preconceived boundaries of expectation to find unexpected moments of beauty,” (Classical Guitar Magazine). The recipient of Peabody's 2014 Macht Prize for Orchestral Composition, Belkot's music is performed throughout the United States. Recent regional performances include The National Gallery of Art, The Walters Museum, and the College Music Society's 54th National Conference in Richmond. In addition to composing, Belkot is on faculty at the Peabody Preparatory, teaches privately, and is the Choirmaster at Mt. Calvary Church in Baltimore. He lives in Charles Village with his wife, Adri and their two dogs.

    Joshua Bornfield has been called “a completely original voice” (Phyllis Bryn-Julson) whose award-winning work has “organic power” (Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun). His recent opera “Uncle Alex,” written for Washington National Opera, received universal praise in the media. Also an avid performer, Joshua regularly sings with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society and Third Practice.

    Douglas Buchanan serves as Organist and Choirmaster of St. David’s Episcopal Church, composition faculty at Dickinson College, and music theory and musicology faculty at the Peabody Conservatory. In addition to singing in the Baltimore Choral Arts Society with his wife, Kelly, he enjoys microtonal interspecies improvisation with his black lab puppy, Grover. You are invited to visit his website,, to learn more.

    Michael Rickelton’s works have been played by the organizations including the Nashville, Baltimore and Peabody Symphony Orchestras, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, the Pacific Chorale's John Alexander Singers, and the Washington National Cathedral Choir. His setting of Dana Gioia’s Pentecost was recently released by Delos records on American Voices, the latest recording from the John Alexander Singer. 



Master Classes with visiting artists are a frequent dimension of our educational outreach programs. Past master classes have featured the King Singers, Chanticleer, Alice Parker, and other acclaimed artists.

Tom Hall is often invited to present workshops and master classes with teachers and students in area schools. For more information about Mr. Hall's availability, please contact Choral Arts at


Christmas with Choral Arts

Tuesday, December 01, 2015
7:30 PM • The Baltimore Basilica

Tom Hall leads the Chorus and orchestra in this holiday program which includes beloved Christmas favorites in the historic setting of The Baltimore Basilica.

Remaining seating in the Rear Balcony is limited, please contact our box office directly to purchase tickets. Call 410.523.7070 ext. 301.

Open seating within sections.

 BGE is the Presenting Sponsor of Christmas with Choral Arts.

The voices rang out with resplendent confidence, and the sopranos had no apparent difficulty reaching the cruel and challenging high B's in the piece. The chorus's performance was the best part of the concert….the thunderous power of this unique masterpiece never fails to stir the blood, and the ovation was loud, long and well deserved.

— On Beethoven's Ninth with the Baltimore Symphony 2012
The Washington Post

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