Contests and Awards

Boshkoff, Ruth

Ruth Boshkoff

The 2017 Ruth Boshkoff Composition Prize 

The 2017 Ruth Boshkoff Composition Prize is sponsored by the Doug and Ruth Boshkoff family in order to encourage the composition of high-quality octavos for elementary, middle school and high school choral groups. Ruth Boshkoff received a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin College and a Master of Music Education from the University of Buffalo. In addition, she has earned both Kodály and Orff certifications. She was a member of the faculty and choir director at the St. Charles School in Bloomington for 20 years and, after retirement, became director of the Indiana University Children’s Choir. Ruth has served on the National Board of the Organization of Kodály Educators and is the Associate Editor of its journal, The Kodály ENVOY. With Mary Goetze and Angela Broeker, she co-authored the book Educating Young Singers: A Choral Resource for Teacher-Conductors. Ruth composes for children’s choirs. With this initiative she hopes to encourage teachers to write for their own choirs, and to help children in their classrooms and choirs to create their own music.

Rules, Requirements and Timeline:

Download a hard copy of the description of rules, requirements, and timelines:
Ruth Boshkoff Composition Prize Rules, Requirements and Timeline | PDF

PRIZE: The winning composer will be commissioned to write a new piece for the OAKE National Conference Youth Choir (approximately 175 singers who will be in grades 6 – 8 with treble voices). Ruth Boshkoff will provide suggestions of texts to utilize for the composition, or the winning composer can suggest a possible text to Ruth. Any suggested text should be in public domain. The piece will premiere at the 2017 OAKE National Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with the composer being recognized during the National Conference Choirs Concert at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts,  Saturday, March 25, 2017.  A $1,000 cash prize will be awarded to the composer. The composer will also receive a complimentary DVD/CD of the performance after the conference.

APPLICATION: Composers are asked to submit a portfolio that includes two to three representative samples of their work. This portfolio can include both published works and manuscripts. (Please keep in mind that the composition premiere will be sung by a youth treble choir [grades 6-8] so any works that show your skills in writing for a similar choir set-up would be most helpful to the selection panel).

MISSION: Aspiring non-professional composers who are strongly interested in writing for school-age choirs are invited to enter this competition. Compositions will be judged as to their appropriateness for Kodály-trained choirs.


  • June 20: Composers’ portfolios are due. Please apply using the online form found at
  • June 20-25: Committee will select two finalists. These portfolios will be submitted to Ruth Boshkoff, who will select the winner.
  • July 1: Winner will be notified and will consult with Ruth regarding the selection of a text for the National Youth Choir piece (approximately 150 singers who will be in grades 6 through 8 with treble voices).
  • August 15: Winner sends composition manuscript to Ruth Boshkoff for comments.
  • September 15: Composition is completed and submitted to OAKE for inclusion in all choral packets for the 2016 National Children’s Choir.
  • March 2017: Winning compositions will be premiered by the National Youth Choir at the 2017 OAKE National Conference in Philadelphia, PA with the composer being recognized at the National Conference Choirs concert.
    Cash prize of $1,000 will be awarded to the composer.
    Opportunities to meet and work with the children’s choir members and the conductor can be arranged.

OAKE reserves the right to not award a prize.


Meet the 2016 Ruth Boshkoff Composition Prize Winner!

The Ruth Boshkoff Composition Prize is sponsored by the Doug and Ruth Boshkoff family in order to encourage the composition of high quality octavos for elementary, middle school and high school choral groups. The 2016 prize was awarded to Rich Campbell for his composition of “The Wind” premiered by the 2016 OAKE National Conference Children’s Choir in Long Beach, CA. For this, our sixth year of the prize, OAKE received many excellent submissions. The selection committee was comprised of judges who have all worked with children’s choirs in schools, honor choirs, and/or community choir settings. They are: Nyssa Brown, Georgia Newlin, and Jayne Wenner. The judges reviewed all applications and selected three finalists who were submitted to Ruth Boshkoff.


Rich Campbell’s award-winning choral compositions have been performed by VocalEssence, SACRA/PROFANA, Young People’s Chorus of New York, and many others. Vocal works were heard at Center City Opera’s “Art Songs of the 21st Century.” Theatre collaborations include “Puppy Love, and “Boomer’s Millennial Hero Story.” He can be seen and his music heard in the film “Devil’s Advocate,” and the TV show “SMASH.” He has toured internationally and played many prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall. He is an alumnus of the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, and lives in New York City. He has run 19 marathons. Rich is grateful to the Doug & Ruth Boshkoff family and everyone at OAKE for this honor. Please say hello via social media or through his website:

“The Wind” is available for purchase from Swirly Music