CFAMC National Conference 2020

Announcement: The Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers (CFAMC), in cooperation with the Biola University* Conservatory of Music and the Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts (CCCA*) is pleased to announce the following call for scores and papers for the 2020 National CFAMC Conference.

Who may apply: Composers at any stage of their careers are invited to attend. This year we are particularly interested in welcoming undergraduate and graduate composers to submit works and/or attend the conference; these composers may also be interested in the masterclass opportunity described below.


Composers whose works are selected for performance are asked to become registered CFAMC members (suggested donation of $45 for non-students, and $25 for students; see, and must agree to attend at least a full day of the conference.
All attendees must pay the registration fee (spouses excluded).

Dates and location of Conference: October 15-17 of 2020 at Biola University.

Submission Deadlines:

General deadline: submissions, including proposals for HNM or PS (see below) must be received by 11:59 PM PST, March 17, 2020.
If your proposal for HNM or PS is accepted, score and parts for your completed composition must be received by 8:00 AM PST, July 10, 2020.

Registration fee: $40 if one or more of your submissions is selected for performance, $20 if simply attending (spouses are free). There is no additional cost for the masterclass or Friday evening banquet.

Paper submissions: These may include up to two previously-written documents or abstracts (250-500 words) on topics relating to faith, composition, and/or new music. Papers presentations should generally be presentable within 25-minute time-slots, although other formats will be considered.

Composition submissions: Composers may submit a total of 3 works. Pieces should generally be no more than 12 minutes in length, although in some cases, longer works will be considered. Shorter pieces and/or pieces for which composers can provide their own performers are easier to program, and therefore are more likely to be selected. Difficulty level and availability of performers may directly affect whether a work is accepted or not.

Submission opportunities: The Biola Conservatory of Music, with help from the California Baptist University Camerata, is pleased to offer the following ensembles and opportunities. These opportunities are open to composers at any stage of their careers, and a concerted effort will be made to include a significant number of student compositions.

1. Featured Guest Ensembles and Opportunities

a. HUB New Music (HNM,
Composers may submit works for the following instrumentation: Flute (add alto, piccolo), Clarinet (add bass clarinet, Eb clarinet), Violin, Cello.

Since this is a special opportunity, composers may either submit actual scores by the submission deadline (normal submission), or may opt to submit proposals instead (since many of us do the bulk of our writing over the summer). Proposals are due by March 17, but the score and parts would not need to be delivered until July 10. If a proposal, then composers must include the following:

Submit one of your works (score and recording) that captures a similar ethos to the work you intend to write.

If selected, the composer must attend the conference.

Include a cover letter giving assurance that you understand that the score and parts are to be received no later than July 10.

b. Pierrot Sextet (PS): HNM has agreed to perform in an additional concert with an added pianist and percussionist, thereby filling out the traditional “Pierrot Sextet” (Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano, Percussion). As with HNM, proposals will be accepted for writing extensions that reach to July 10.

c. The Mikado String Quartet (website coming soon!)

d. The Ensemble Christo Piano Trio (Violin, Cello, Piano)

e. Baritone Joel Balzun:

f. Film composer and Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) board member Jonathan David Neal will be presenting a workshop on copyright and other legal issues facing today’s film composers.

g. MASTERCLASS: this year’s conference will include a masterclass with CFAMC’s own Frank LaRocca. Dr. LaRocca is Professor Emeritus at California State University, East Bay and recently won the ORTUS international choral composition competition. His Mass of the Americas was recently performed at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. For more information, go to

This opportunity is open for everyone to attend, but it is expected that graduate and undergraduate students would benefit most from presenting. We will take reservations for 4 students, but will likely have time for some walk-ons. Student attendees are therefore encouraged to bring scores and recordings with them to the conference.

To reserve a spot, submit your piece as if you were submitting it for performance consideration (include score and recording). In the spaces provided, be sure to mark whether you are only intending to present it for the masterclass, for performance consideration, or both.

Composers who are presenting their works should bring the following materials to the masterclass:

a. Two scores of their piece (one for you and Dr. LaRocca to assess together, and 1 to project via document camera or HDMI connection onto the screen).

b. A recording of their score (live recordings are preferable)

2. Featured resident ensembles, including professional/faculty/student performers:

a. Works for chorus
i. Biola University Chorale
ii. California Baptist University Camerata (30+ singer choir)
iii. Biola University Women’s Chorus
iv. Biola University Men’s Chorus
v. Biola University Vocal Jazz Ensemble (10 voices: 2S, 2-3A, 2-3T, 2B, preferably 4-part writing)

b. Works including voice

c. The Biola Symphony Orchestra (winds in pairs)

d. The Biola University Symphonic Winds (Wind Ensemble/Band)

e. The Biola University Jazz Band

f. The Biola University Brass Ensemble

g. The Biola University Percussion Ensemble

h. The Biola University Handbell Choir

i. Ensembles made up of standard orchestral instruments and/or piano; preference will be given to smaller ensembles (1-4 players), but quintets and larger groups will be considered.

j. Pieces for or including organ (Schantz, 1964; please feel free to contact us for a stops list)

k. Electronic/multimedia/electroacoustic/music for film (we may have a full concert of films and media presentations).

Note: Composers may also bring/provide their own performers. This often increases the likelihood that a work will be programmed.

Submission guidelines:

Submissions should be made on New Music Engine ( Log into your account, or create a new account, and create a separate submission for each piece or paper. You will be asked to provide a bio and program notes as you would wish them to appear in the program were your work to be accepted for performance, along with a score (no parts at this time) and recording.

Each composer may submit up to three entries (combination of works and papers). A proposal for HNM or PS counts as one of these three entries.

Questions may be addressed to Robert Denham:

After the submission:

Submissions will be reviewed and programmed by the composition and performance faculty of the Biola Conservatory of music, and also by our guest ensembles. Notification of acceptance will be given by mid to late May.

Composers who submit works that are accepted for performance will be asked to confirm that they will attend the conference (as mentioned above, attendance is mandatory in this case).

If selected, hard copies of scores and parts will be requested at this time.

*Biola University (Bible Institute of Los Angeles) is a non-denominational Christian university located in La Mirada California, 15 minutes north of Disneyland, 20-30 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, 40 minutes from Hollywood, and 40 minutes from the Pacific Ocean. Visit for more information.

*The Biola Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts (CCCA) is an organization dedicated to supporting interdisciplinary interaction between theology and the arts. It is made possible by the generous support of its donors and the Biola University School of Fine Arts and Communication. Visit for information, resources and future events.

Past National Conferences

  • 2019 Oct. 17-19: Mississippi College and Belhaven University
    Greeting from CFAMC founder Mark Hijleh, Reflections, Photo, Review Part 1, Review Part 2, Review Part 3, Review Part 4, Review Part 5, Review Part 6, Review Part 7, Review Part 8, Review Part 9
  • 2018 Nov. 1 – 3: Malone University
  • 2017 Oct. 5 – 7: Fresno Pacific University
  • 2016 Oct. 6 – 8: Mississippi College and Belhaven University (Reviews)
  • 2015 Oct. 8 – 10: Malone University
  • 2014 Oct. 9 – 11: Biola University
  • 2013 Oct. 25 – 26: Houghton College
  • 2012 Mar. 1 – 2: Mississippi College
  • 2010 Oct. 15 – 16: Indiana Wesleyan University
  • 2008 Oct. 10 – 11: Indiana Wesleyan University
  • 2006 Sep. 29 – Oct. 1: Northwestern College
  • 2004 Sep. 17 – 19: Duke University
  • 2002 Feb. 22 – 23: Butler University
  • 2000 Jun. 21 – 25: Georgia Institute Technology
  • 1999 Sep. 24 – 25: Warner Pacific College
  • 1998 Jul 10 – 11: Houghton College
  • 1997 Sep. 19 – 20: Bowling Green State University
  • 1996 Sep. 27 – 28: Houghton College
  • 1995 Sep. 29 – 30: Houghton College