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2010 Winners


Winners announced for the 2009-2010 competition 

The Esoterics is pleased to announce the winners of its 2010 POLYPHONOS choral composition competition. A panel of three judges reviewed all the anonymous scores to settle upon the winners of three separate awards: one national (U.S.) composer, one international composer, and one young composer under the age of 30.

Each awardee will receive a US$1,000 commission for a 5-minute new work that The Esoterics will premiere atVIVIDA in October of the 2010 season. In working with the theme of the concert, the awardees have selected a work of art or a visual theme on which to base their commissioned pieces. The winners will also receive funds for travel and lodging to the premiere of their work next year.

The Esoterics extends its sincerest thanks to all who applied to this competition. The pool of applicants was particularly strong this year, and the judges struggled to settle upon just the awards.

National (U.S.) composer: Shawn Crouch – Miami, Florida
International composer: Bernard Hughes – London, England
Young composer: Joshua Shank – Austin, Texas

More information about each composer is below.


Shawn Crouch – Miami, Florida

Shawn Crouch has studied composition with Martin Bresnick, Ezra Laderman and Malcolm Peyton and conducting with Marguerite Brooks and Leo Wanenchak. He has been a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Norfolk Music Festival where he studied with Osvaldo Golijov, Michael Gandolfi and Augusta Read Thomas. He has attended the Berklee College of Music and The Peabody Preparatory studying classical/jazz piano, composition and horn. Mr. Crouch received his B.M. in composition from the New England Conservatory with honors and distinction in performance, and his M.M. in composition from the Yale School of Music. Shawn Crouch currently serves on the faculty at Hunter College Campus School in New York City, as well as the Walden School for Young Composers in Dublin, New Hampshire. The New York Times describes Shawn Crouch’s work as music of “gnarling atonal energy”.

More information can be found at


Bernard Hughes – London, England

Bernard Hughes was recently awarded his PhD in Composition from London University. Bernard’s music has been performed by several leading performers and ensembles such as the BBC Singers and has been heard at venues including Coventry Cathedral and London’s South Bank Centre. His children’s opera Chincha-Chancha Cooroo was premiered to acclaim in 2006 and had its American premiere in the spring of 2009. Bernard writes regularly in the new music periodical Tempo and contributes a regular column to New Notes, the magazine of Sound and Music (formerly SPNM).

For more information visit


Joshua Shank – Austin, Texas

Joshua Shank received his undergraduate degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa where he studied conducting with Weston Noble and composition with John Morrison and Neil Flory. In 2002, he became the youngest composer ever awarded the Raymond W. Brock Student Composition Award by the American Choral Directors Association. He has served as composer-in-residence for the Minneapolis-based professional choir, The Singers: Minnesota Choral Artists since the group was founded in 2004 and, alongside Artistic Director Matthew Culloton, has collaborated annually to enlarge and expand the repertoire for professional-caliber ensembles.

For more information, please see the composer’s web site: