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NCCO8 National Conference - Call for Choral Performances

The National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) invites applications for collegiate choirs to perform at the 8th Biennial Conference, November 7--9, 2019, in College Park, Maryland.

Performance length will be a maximum of 25 minutes, except for extended works. The musical quality of the ensemble's performance and the proposed program will be weighted equally in the selection process. Choirs may not perform at consecutive NCCO conferences.

The committee seeks program proposals that would be of interest to its members, particularly music from the vast range of choral literature, including standards of existing choral literature as well as lesser-known works. Applicants are encouraged to be creative in their programming, to consider repertoire and composers from a diverse array of backgrounds, and to present repertoire that can be performed by a variety of collegiate choirs.

Suggested Performance Categories

Choirs will be considered for performances in these categories.

Historical periods

  • repertoire from a specific period or geographical region (e.g. 18^th^ century France or mid-century American)


  • music by a single composer
  • music representing a specific country, region, or language
  • music set to texts by a specific poet
  • music set to texts representing a particular topic

Extended works

  • the performance of a complete or abridged extended choral or choral/orchestral work
  • Note: performances submitted in this category may exceed 25 minutes. (See, for example, the complete performance of Handel's Esther at the 2013 National Conference in Charleston, S.C.)

Programming Ideals of NCCO

Through comments gathered from previous NCCO conferences, it is clear that our membership has consistently and strongly articulated a clear preference for NCCO performances that present music from the entire breadth of choral history (i.e. not just the most recently composed music). The founders of NCCO envisioned performances and programs that present choral repertoire from the past as well as the present, that have a unified and coherent theme, and/or that present premieres of newly composed full-length pieces. This ideal continues to be a desired core value of the NCCO experience and is actively supported by our membership.

To this end, all applications for performance at the NCCO National Conference equally consider both the quality of the performance as provided in the application recordings and the proposed overall program.

To preserve anonymity in this process, the recordings are first screened by an adjudication committee of peers and ranked with regard to overall recording quality. The NCCO Executive Board separately considers the thematic programs (again, free of identifying information) and makes their own rankings on the quality of the program alone. These two rankings are then folded together to create an overall ranking from which invitations to perform at the conference are awarded. Equal and careful consideration is given to every ensemble's application.

To Apply

Please read all of the following information carefully to assist you in the application process. Each applicant should submit:

  1. Recordings consisting of four selections, including two selections from the current academic year (2018--19) and two from the previous year (2017--18), in MP3 format.
    • Recordings must be from live concert performances.
    • You must apply for specific types of performances (see suggested categories and guidelines above).
    • The repertoire on your recording must include at least one example of music from the categories for which you wish to be considered (i.e. include a work from the 18th century if you wish is to be considered for a performance in that category).
  2. Proposed program in the category of your first choice including titles, composers and total duration.
    • Programs are not to exceed 25 minutes in length, except in the case of complete performances of major works.
    • Conference performances must feature the same music that is proposed on this application. Any changes after being selected require the approval of the NCCO Executive Board.
    • Note that NCCO is not able to offer projection support for concert performances. While we have had requests for this in the past, all concert performances at NCCO will be done without the aid of visual projections, due to technological limitations.
  3. Letter of acknowledgment from the music administrator of your institution acknowledging permission for the conductor and choir to appear on the conference program. A PDF of an email or a PDF memo on letterhead will suffice.
  4. Your consent and agreement, as conductor of the ensemble, to the "Visual/Audio Images Release."
  5. Application fee of $40 paid online.

Deadline: All materials must be submitted by May 1, 2019, 11:59p CST.

Notification: Results will be announced by June 15, 2019.

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