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.

TIMELINE:

  • June 20: Composers’ portfolios are due. Please apply using the online form found at www.oake.org.
  • 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 2016-2017 Ruth Boshkoff Composition Prize Winner!
Since 2011, the Doug and Ruth Boshkoff family have generously sponsored The Ruth Boshkoff Composition Prize in order to encourage the composition of high-quality octavos for elementary, middle school and high school choral groups. This year OAKE received a record setting 84 entries, from which 7 finalists were selected and submitted to Ruth Boshkoff. The judges for this year’s competition were Nyssa Brown, Georgia Newlin, and Jayne Wenner, all of whom have all worked with children’s choirs in schools, honor choirs, and/or community choir settings. We thank them for their service. Congratulations to Kelsey Hohnstein who was chosen as the winner of the 2016-2017 Ruth Boshkoff Composition Prize. Her composition, “A Minuet of Mozart’s,” will be premiered by the OAKE National Youth Choir.

Kelsey Hohnstein is an undergraduate student at Texas Tech University graduating in December 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree of Music, including a double-emphasis in Composition and Music Education. First published by TFS Music Publications in 2012 for her piece “Irish Blessing”, Kelsey has since published “If You Forget Me” (2014) and “I Am Not Yours” (2016) with Hal Leonard Publications. Additionally, “If You Forget Me” was also included in the TCDA High School Reading Session in 2014. Kelsey is tremendously grateful to have received the following prestigious awards: the 2017 Raymond W. Brock Student Composition Competition and the 2017 Ruth Boshkoff Composition Prize; where she was commissioned to write a piece for the OAKE National Youth Choir entitled “A Minuet of Mozart’s”.