Toronto, January 10, 2022 – Twenty-two composers from across Canada submitted their works to the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir for its 2021 Choral Composition Competition. The competition this year was for original works scored for SATB or SSAATTBB, a cappella or with piano accompaniment.
The TMC also encouraged composers to set a text by a poet from an under-represented community. All submitted scores were reviewed (with no composer names) by a three-member jury led by Artistic Director Jean-Sébastien Vallée.
The winning composition is Of Rest by Benjamin Sigerson – a setting of text by Vancouver poet j. h. Lee. Benjamin receives the Debbie Fleming Prize in Choral Composition of $1000. The work will be premiered by the TMC at its Conductors’ Symposium concert on June 28, 2022.
Benjamin Sigerson (b. 2001) is a composer and jazz pianist from Vancouver, B.C. Currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in composition at McGill University, he has also studied with composers Rodney Sharman and Katerina Gimon.
Sigerson has won awards for his compositions, including 3rd prize in the choral category in the 2021 edition of the SOCAN Awards, twice the Vancouver Chamber Choir’s young composer competition, and the Barbara Pentland Award from the Canadian Music Center. His pieces have also been performed by the Vancouver Youth Choir, the Hard Rubber Orchestra, and in recording studios and jazz clubs around Vancouver and Montreal.
Artistic Director Jean-Sébastien Vallée comments on the competition. “I was thrilled with the number and quality of the compositions we received. The Canadian choral composition scene is strong and dynamic and the TMC is pleased to be one of the organizations supporting the growth of composition in Canada. Benjamin’s piece demonstrates a clear understanding of the voice and its expressive possibilities. Benjamin shows great potential as an artist and I look forward to hearing choirs from all across the country, and beyond, perform his music!”