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Each participating song writer must submit by video, a song following the guidelines listed below. Level ONE participants must submit a chord sheet (dynamics with chords) and demo video. Level TWO participants must submit a lead sheet (melody line with lyrics and chords) and demo video. See the following page for a copy of the scoring rubric. You will receive three separate adjudicator forms, your rating and a certificate after submission. Select arrangements have the potential for a performance by members of the Territorial Worship Collective at an upcoming event. See below for guidelines.

Writing Music

Song Writing Guidelines

  1. Be sure lyrics used are original or in public domain (not under copyright), and have a spiritual focus and integrity. It is recommended to work from a germ concept, be it from an experience, insight, observation or event. A paraphrase of scripture or re-working of an existing song (not under copyright) is acceptable. Avoid trite expressions and clichés, and predictable or overused rhymes. 

  2. Songs may be presented as either: 

    • A lead sheet with melody line notated, including the lyrics with chords indicated. 

    • A chord chart, which has the lyrics listed with chords properly placed above the lyrics. 

    • A melody line with piano accompaniment, playable by the average corps pianist, which supports the vocal lines and includes the chord (or capo) symbols. 

    • A  demo track is recommended, but only required for those submitting chord charts. 

  3. If notating the melody line, the songwriter may wish to indicate with cued notes any answering parts or harmonies to the melody line. Including any introductory or transitional lead lines as cued notes can be helpful.  

  4. The melody line for songs intended for congregational use should follow a pattern that is memorable and singable, almost from the first hearing. 

  5. Songs intended for children are welcome. The lyrics and melody line intended for children should be suitable for children’s voices. A recommended children’s range: Middle C (or low B) up to D (Eb). 

  6. Songs are acceptable in a variety of styles, including gospel, contemporary, country, reggae, R & B, rock anthems, etc. A song, in this case, has a sung melody line. There is a separate category for spoken word offerings. 

  7. Both strophic (multiple verses using the same music) and non-strophic (through-composed) songs 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. 

  8. For further assistance, contact Joshua Turner

Level ONE
Image by Joints Creative

Level ONE

Submission must include a demo recording and a chord sheet. This should have lyrics with chords written above.

Image by Ben Collins

Level TWO

Submission must include a demo recording and a lead sheet. This should have lyrics and a melody line with chords written above.

Level TWO
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