Hymn Competition

2018-2019 Notre Dame Children's Choir Hymn Competition - Liturgy Alive



Click here for more information about the 2018-2019 hymn competition.


The Notre Dame Children's Choir Hymn Competition 2016

Congratulations to Brian Schoettler and his original hymn, While Seeking Refuge From the Storms of Life, for winning the 2016 NDCC Hymn Competition. Thank you to all the authors and composers who entered. Watch this page for news about the 2017 contest.


The original text and music will address the theme of God’s love and our relationship with one another during times of turmoil. Put another way, in light of recent domestic and international violence, refugees searching for safety, nation warring against nation, and political divisiveness, craft a hymn text and tune that speaks to God’s all-encompassing love that is made complete through connection with one another.

1 John 4:12 - No one has ever seen God: but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

The number of verses of the hymn is at the submitter’s discretion.

Musical Guidlines:

  • The new hymn for will be for congregational use to be led by children’s voices with organ accompaniment.

  • The hymn must include a unison melody with descant, SATB vocal harmonization with descant preferred.

  • The music should be in the traditional hymnic style of the Episcopal 1982 hymnal, the New English Hymnal, or in the style of the English Cathedral hymn.

  • The text must be in English. Preferred Melody Range: D4-E5, Descant may reach A5


The winning entry will receive $600, have their hymn sung by the Notre Dame Children's Choir, and the hymn will be considered for recording by the Notre Dame Children's Choir on their next album.

  • One entry per applicant. Co-applicants my apply as text and musical authors, though only one $600 prize will be awarded.


Entries will be accepted between Jan. 23, 2016 and midnight on March 31, 2016.

The winner will be announced by April 15, 2016.

Submission Format:

Each hymn must be submitted in a format that is easily viewable. To ensure this, it is required that the entry be submitted as either a standard PDF or high resolution JPG file. It is preferred that music scores are typeset using a music software program such as Finale or Sibelius, however, scanned manuscripts will be accepted providing they are legible.

The winning hymn must be dedicated to the Notre Dame Children's Choir with the text, "Commissioned by the Notre Dame Children’s Choir; Mark Doerries, Artistic Director."


All United States residents in the 50 states over the age of 18 are eligible to enter the competition. Entry is free of charge.

The following individuals are not eligible: employees, collaborators, directors, officers and contractors of the Sponsor, its advertising, fulfillment and public relations agencies and any other agencies involved in the administration, development and fulfillment of this Contest, and the immediate family members and those living in the same households of each.


The winner will be selected by a panel of judges consisting of church musicians, composers, scholars and staff members of Sacred Music at Notre Dame and other sacred music institutions in close collaboration with the Notre Dame Children's Choir. Selection criteria will include: success in exploring the themes of our overall Contest, artistic merit, singability, and similar criteria.


  • Bruce Neswick, Canon for Cathedral Music at Trinity Cathedral
  • David Eicher, Editor of the new Presbyterian hymnal, Glory to God
  • Melanie Malinka, Director of Music of the Madeleinie Choir School
  • Stephen Mager, Director of Music at Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Saint Louis; Artistic Director of the Masterworks Chorale

Read the official contest rules and information regarding copyright, performing rights, and recording rights here.

*The official rules take precedent over any conflict with the statements above.