Composition contest

The Johan Franco Committee of the GCNA holds contests for new musical compositions written for the carillon.

2021 Composition Contest

Results Announcement

The GCNA Johan Franco Committee is pleased to announce the results of the 2021 Franco Composition Contest. We received a record fifty-eight submissions this year. Six members of the Franco Committee served as the jury: Margaret Angelini, Wesley Arai, Joey Brink, Dave Johnson, Alex Johnson, and Tiffany Ng, with Thomas Lee acting as chair. The submissions were reviewed anonymously by the jury, and evaluated based on their usefulness to the carillon community, effectiveness on the carillon, playability, originality, and general musical interest.

  • First prize ($1500):  Geert D'hollander, Moto Perpetuo 
  • Second prize ($750):  Joseph Fong, Nine Vignettes for Carillon 
  • Performance Award ($100):  Mary Beth Bennett, Valse Triste 
  • Performance Award ($100):  Jose Antonio C. Buencamino, Hinugot sa Hangin 
  • Performance Award ($100):  David Maker, Tocsin 
  • Performance Award ($100):  Tom Gurin, At Rain-Starred Windows 
  • Performance Award ($100):  Michael Gancz, Four Preludes for Carillon 
  • Performance Award ($100):  Elizaveta Panchenko, Festive Chime

The eight scores will be published this year by the GCNA, and the works will receive a virtual premier at the 2021 congress. Many congratulations to our prize winners, with endless thanks to all who entered the contest!

Thomas Lee & Joey Brink, Franco Committee Co-chairs


The complete official Composition Contest Rules are available for download. They are as follows:

The GCNA Johan Franco Committee is pleased to announce the 2021 Franco Composition Contest. Two monetary prizes ($1,500 for first place and $750 for second place) will be awarded, in addition to a number of performance awards ($100) to be distributed at the Committee's discretion. The GCNA will publish the first and second place compositions, and performance awards will be given the option of GCNA publication. All compositions awarded prizes and performance recognition will have the opportunity to be performed at the GCNA Congress in 2021.

Eligibility: The contest is open to all, regardless of age or nationality (except current members of the Franco Committee and the first-prize winner of the previous Franco contest in 2019, Mathieu Daniel Polak).

Submissions: Composers are asked to submit works that are 5-10 minutes in length. Submissions must be original compositions, not arrangements or transcriptions of existing works. Each composer may submit only one work. The composition must be playable by a solo carillonneur on a four-octave carillon: 48 bells (c, d, ... chromatic to c4 with low C# omitted), with a 2-octave pedalboard (c, d, ... chromatic to c2). Notating bells outside of this range is permitted provided that substitutions are given in the 48-bell range. Compositions that have already been performed or published are ineligible. Public performance of any winning composition prior to the 2021 GCNA congress will be grounds for disqualification.

Submissions must be received by November 1, 2020. Composers may submit works via email (preferred) to Thomas Lee, (for a mailing address, please email Thomas). Submissions will be anonymized for the jury. Please do not include your name or any identifying information on the composition itself. Instead, please separately include your contact information.

Composing for the Carillon: We recommend that composers less familiar with the carillon consult Composing for the Carillon: Recommendations and Examples and corresponding video by John Gouwens.

Prizes: The jury guarantees the awarding of both First Prize and Second Prize. The jury reserves the right to award any number of Performance Awards. Each composition can only receive one of the three prizes.

First prize: $1,500. Premiered at the 2021 congress.
Second prize: $750. Premiered at the 2021 congress.
Performance Awards: $100. May be awarded at the discretion of the Franco Committee to any number of submitted compositions that, if the composer wishes, will be published and premiered at the 2021 congress.

Publication & Copyright: First and second prize-winning compositions will be published by the GCNA in accordance with its generally applicable rules. Thus, by entering the contest, entrants agree to sign over publishing rights to the GCNA if awarded first or second prize. Performance awards will be given the option for publication.

The composers who receive first prize and second prize will be required: (a) To assign to the GCNA all publication rights of the composition; and (b) To warrant to the GCNA that the composition does not violate any existing copyright in whole or in part, and that (s)he has the lawful right to authorize publication of the composition. If the composer has any arrangement with any performing rights organizations, such as ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, SOCAN, and the like, the composer will be required to instruct the affiliated organization not to collect performance fees solely on the basis of this composition. (In some cases, this may entail waiving rights to performance royalties.) First and second prize-winning compositions will be published and distributed by the GCNA. Composers that receive Performance Awards will be offered publication with the GCNA if they wish. Compositions that do not win a prize will remain the sole property of the composer. Judges' copies of the compositions will be destroyed following the contest.

The Jury: The seven voting members of the Franco Committee serve as the jury in this contest: Margaret Angelini, Wesley Arai, Joey Brink, Amy Johansen, Alex Johnson, Dave Johnson, and Tiffany Ng. The jury will evaluate submissions based on their effectiveness on the carillon, playability, originality, and general musical interest.

To preserve anonymity of the composers, we ask that composers refrain from contacting, directly or indirectly, any members of the jury. Questions may be directed to Thomas Lee at

Results: All prize-winning compositions will be announced March 1, 2021.

Previous Prizewinners

View all prizewinners to date in the GCNA Music Store or click on individual pieces below.

Prizes awarded to date are as follows:


1st prize: "A Butterfly's Dance" by Mathieu Daniel Polak
2nd prize: "Peacemakers" by Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra
Performance Award: "Imaginary Dances" by Peter Paul Olejar
Performance Award: "as swiftly and fading as soon" by Julie Zhu 

2017 1st prize: "Pulsations" by Geert D’hollander
2nd prize: "Dandelion Field" by Mathieu Daniel Polak
Performance Award: "Grand Serenade for Carillon" by Lee Cobb
2014 No prize awarded.
2012 No prize awarded.
2010 First Prize: (not awarded)
Second Prize (tied): "Légende" by Ennis Fruhauf and "For the Planet with the Smallest Voice" by Gabriel Lubell
2008 First Prize: "Four Flourishes" by Geert D'hollander
Second Prize: (not awarded)
2006 First Prize: (not awarded)
Second Prize: "Sonata" by Lee Cobb
2004 First Prize: "Sonata" by Neil Thornock
Second Prize: "Two Poems for Children" by Geert d'Hollander
2002 First Prize: (not awarded)
Second Prize: "Motorhythmia" by Neil Thornock
2000 First Prize: (not awarded)
Second Prize: "Passacaglia Antiqua" by Geert d'Hollander
1998 First Prize: "Modal Nocturne" by Geert d'Hollander
Second Prize: "Passacaglia" by Ennis Fruhauf
1996 First Prize: (not awarded)
Second Prize (tied): "Prelude con fughetta" by Marcel Siebers and "Nocturne" by Ennis Fruhauf
1994 First Prize: (not awarded)
Second Prize: "Cortège" by Alan Ontko
1992 First Prize: (not awarded)
Second Prize: "Evocation" by John Courter
1990 No prize awarded.
1988 First Prize: "Oread Grounds" by Charles Hoag
Second Prize: "Gregorian Triptych" by John Courter

These prizewinners have been published by the GCNA. Other entries have also been published, but are not itemized here.

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