New Music Competitions & Commissions

Competitions for new music are an important part of the Guild’s commitment to the future of organ and choral music. The  competitions below are conducted biennially in cooperation with the AGO New Music Committee and the donors as approved by the National Council.

The New Music Committee has developed new procedures for the two 2016 awards. Seeking to draw on particular individual strengths, the committee invites composers to propose a commission for either of the awards. Details may be found in the instructions below. If you have questions or need further information contact AGO National Headquarters by email or phone: or 212-870-2311, ext. 4318.


The competition is biennial and calls for a work for organ solo. The competition is open to composers of any age; the specific requirements vary each year the competition is held.
Award: $2,000 cash prize provided by Marilyn Mason, publication by Hinshaw Music Inc., and performance at the AGO National Convention. See the new requirements and procedures for the 2016 award!
2016 AGO/Marilyn Mason Award Instructions and Entry Form


Held in alternate years, the competition seeks outstanding compositions for SATB chorus and organ in which the organ plays a distinctive and significant role. Other requirements vary for each competition.
Award: $2,000 cash prize provided by ECS Publishing, publication by ECS Publishing, and premier performance at the AGO National Convention. See the new requirements and procedures for the 2016 award!
2016 AGO/ECS Award in Choral Composition Instructions and Entry Form


05b-Ivan-BozicevicIvan Bozicevic has been named the winner of the 2014 AGO/ECS Publishing Award in Choral Composition for his piece, Kyrie eleison. Thirty-five composers submitted pieces to the fourteenth biennial competition. The competition was judged by Carol Barnett, David Carrier, and Steven Sametz. The 2014 competition called for an original setting of the Kyrie (in Greek or English), no longer than 8 minutes in duration. Kyrie eleison will be premiered on June 27, 2014 at the AGO National Convention in Boston, Mass. Ivan Bozicevic lives in Croatia and is a composer, organist, pianist, arranger, and jazz musician. He studied composition at the Belgrade Faculty of Music and organ at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts. He has worked at the Belgrade Faculty of Music and the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad as a professor of counterpoint, analysis and harmony. Since 2002 Mr. Bozcevic has worked in Split, Croatia, as a free-lance artist. He is one of the founding members of the Splithesis ensemble for new music in Split, Croatia. As organ recitalist, he has performed in Germany, Spain, Switzerland, USA, Serbia and Croatia.

The Councillor for Competitions & New Music coordinates the work of the Guild in the areas of competitions. Committees under this Councillor’s aegis include New Music, National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance (NYACOP), Regional Competition for Young Organists (RCYO), and National Competition in Organ Improvisation (NCOI).

Listen to the winning compositions from past competitions.

You can request information from National Headquarters by email or phone: or 212-870-2311, ext. 4318.

New Music Committee

Eileen Hunt, DMA, AAGO, Director
195 Taunton Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
H: 203-256-1749
W: 203-227-2728, ext. 103

Randall Harlow, DMA
University of Northern Iowa
School of Music
115 Russell Hall
Cedar Falls, IA 50614
W: 319-273-6326

John Nuechterlein
President and CEO
American Composers Forum
332 Minnesota Street, Suite E145
Saint Paul, MN 55101
W: 651-251-2811
H: 952-591-0308