What advice do you have for aspiring choral composers?
1. Learn to play the piano well. I was given this advice and have never once regretted double majoring in Piano Performance and Composition in college.
2. Sing in an outstanding choir, learn quality literature, and study how great choral music works.
3. Excel in music theory classes and learn a music writing software program – either Sibelius or Finale. Use the playback option to listen to and critique your composing. Then get your music performed. Seek feedback from people you respect.
4. Be creative and distinctive. Experiment with different compositional techniques and forms. Find or write great texts. Speak the text aloud and understand the rhythm of the words. Don’t use music or set a text that is not public domain without permission.
5. Do your homework. If you want to be published, find out what companies publish the type of pieces you are writing. Learn what the vocal ranges are for singers of different ages and different voicings. Submit clean, easy-to-read manuscripts in pdf form as well as in Sibelius or Finale format.