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Each participating arranger must submit a PDF copy of the score and individual parts. You must also include a MIDI file for review. See the following page for a copy of the scoring rubric. You will receive three separate adjudicator evaluations, your rating and a certificate after submission. Select arrangements have the potential for a performance by a territorial group at a territorial event. See below for arrangement guidelines.

Writing Music

Choral Arrangement Guidelines

  1. Based on hymn(s) or song(s) not under copyright restrictions.

  2. Arranger has the option of writing a new tune to existing lyrics.

  3. Suggested length is no more than 3 verses.

  4. Should be accessible with minimum rehearsal.

  5. Should be scored in SATB with our without piano for songsters or in no more

    than two parts for children’s voices.

Sheet Music

Choral Arranger Guidelines

  1. Be sure lyrics and melody used are original or in public domain (not under copyright), and have a spiritual focus. Lyrics selected for children should be suitable for children’s voices.

  2. Recommended ranges:

    • Soprano – middle C up to Eb (F)

    • Alto – A (below middle C) up to C

    • Tenor - low C up to Eb(F)

    • Bass – low G or A up to B or middle C.

  3. Recommended children’s range: Middle C (or low B) up to D (Eb)

  4. Provide a simple piano accompaniment, playable by the average corps pianist, which supports the vocal lines. Four-part acapella arrangements are also acceptable.

  5. Time signatures must be in common meters (i.e. 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6/8 or 9/8).

  6. Acceptable styles: devotional, gospel, contemporary, anthems (upbeat or

  7. majestic)

  8. Use of unison or two-part singing is encouraged. When moving into multiple

  9. parts (or in the case of children, into two parts), be sure the voice-leading is

  10. simple and intuitive, avoiding awkward or large leaps.

  11. A template is available in both Finale and Sibelius formats.

  12. Both strophic (multiple verses using the same music) and non-strophic

  13. (through-composed) arrangements are acceptable. Repeat signs, or first and second endings, may be used but making sure that the repeat is easily negotiated by the singers, including a clear indication of the repeated verse lyrics.

  14. Musical directives regarding tempo and style should be included at the beginning of the piece, and any significant changes in style or tempo (including metronome marks) should be noted above the staff where they occur.

  15. Dynamics are indicated in vocal music above the musical notation to avoid conflicts with the lyrics, but between the staves on the piano score.

  16. Measure numbers should be indicated, either periodically with rehearsals marks, or at the beginning of each line for easy reference.

  17. For further assistance, contact Marty Thomas ( or Harold Burgmayer (

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