NATS Art Song Composition Award

ArtSong_2014logo.jpgNATS offers a cash award, plus a performance of the winning composition at a NATS Conference, to the composer of the winning song cycle, group of songs, or extended single song. Competition is open to any composer whose submitted work meets the prescribed requirements, and who pays the competition entry fee. 

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"The purpose of the Art Song Composition Award [formerly the Vocal Composition Award] program... is to stimulate the creation of quality vocal literature through the cooperation of singer and composer."
—Carol Mikkelsen, NATS Art Song Composition Award Coordinator


The work must be:

  1. a song cycle, group of songs, or extended single song of approximately fifteen minutes in length (13-17 minutes acceptable);
  2. for single voice and piano;
  3. to a text written in English, for which the composer has secured copyright clearance (only text setting permission necessary);
  4. composed within the last two years (after Jan. 1, 2012).


  • 1st place - $2,000 plus the composer's expenses ($500 airfare reimbursement plus hotel) to the 53rd NATS National Conference, Boston, MA July 5th - July 9th, 2014 where the premiere performance of the winning composition will be given.
  • 2nd place - $1,000


$50 for each entry (payable in U.S. funds to NATS).




Beginning this year all applications for the Art Song Competition Award will be submitted electronically.

Click here to apply

The following are required material for entry:

  1. A PDF copy of the vocal-piano score(s). Copy must be neat, legible and clearly edited; manuscript pages must include: [a] composition title; [b] poet's name; [c] person or agency granting text setting permission; and [d] length and date of composition. THE COMPOSER'S NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE SCORE.
  2. A digital recording of composition(s). Recordings may be performance or working quality, but must be with voice and piano. Titles of compositions only must be on recordings.

If you have any questions, contact Dr. Carol Mikkelsen at  or FAX: 229-259-5578

2012 Art Song Composition Award Winner:

Melissa Dunphy for Tesla's Pigeon


2010 Art Song Composition Award Winner:

David Sisco for Missed Connections

Please enjoy the performance of the winning composition of the 2010 Art Song Composition Award, with an introduction of the winning composer, David Sisco, by Carol Mikkelson. Missed Connections is performed by Elizabeth Mondragon and accompanied by Dr. Andrew Adams. You may view this video at