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Opus Award

This award will be presented annually to one outstanding choral composition in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Must exemplify the highest standard of choral music composition

  • Must be an original composition (not an arrangement of previously existing musical material) by a Missouri composer and/or commissioned by a Missouri choral ensemble in a school, church, or community setting;

  • In the case of vocal jazz, show choir, and ethnic and multicultural works, arrangements of previously existing musical material will be accepted, but the arrangement must demonstrate an original and creative approach on the part of the arranger

  • May be published or unpublished

Selection Procedure:

  • Nominations will be solicited from the general membership of MCDA

  • Compositions must be submitted by a current member of MCDA who may or may not be the composer;

  • Submissions must include an electronic (pdf) copy of the music and one audio recording (mp3) of the composition 

  • The state Repertoire and Standards Chairs shall serve as the selection committee completing a blind review of submissions and voting to select a recipient for the award. Current MCDA Repertoire and Standards Chairs are ineligible for this award

  • Each MCDA member may sponsor only one composition and each composition may be submitted only once

The Opus Award Recipients

Click on LISTEN to hear the piece of music.


2023  "The Reborn Sun" by Faith Zimmer LISTEN

2022  "O Radix Jesse" by James Davidson LISTEN

2021   "We Shall Overcome" by Robert T. Gibson

2020  "Welcome Home" by David Brewer LISTEN

2019   "At the Hour of Closing" by Katie Kring   LISTEN

2018   "I Saw a Child" by Ryan Main     LISTEN

2017   "Stars" by Hunter Johnson    LISTEN

2016   "Panis Angelicus" by John Wykoff    

2014    "Psalm 8" by Carlyle Sharpe                  

2013    "Mass for the Common Man" by Ron Atteberry      2011    "songs of love lost" by Susan LaBarr                    

2009   “Rest” by Joshua Chism                    

2006   “The Wish”by Brad Printz                        

2005   “The Rhodora” by Mary Lynn Lightfoot          

2002   “Magnum Mysterium” by Sally Herman               2000   “Winter Wonderland” by Scott Farthing (arr.)   1999     “Felices Ter” by Ronald Shroyer                 

1998     “Phos Hilaron” by Jeffrey Carter                    

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