The International Alliance for Women in Music SEARCH FOR NEW MUSIC  

2018 Winners

The International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM) announces the winners of its 2018 Search for New Music Competition.

The competition recognizes the accomplishments of IAWM member composers and fosters IAWM’s goal of increasing awareness of the musical contributions of women. IAWM hopes that performers around the world will see this music as a resource for their own concert programming. There were 89 submissions from 14 countries around the world.


Winners in the various categories are:

2018 Christine Clark/Theodore Front Prize ($500)

sponsored by Christine Clark of Theodore Front Musical Literature, Inc., to a composer who is at least 22 years old for a chamber or orchestral work.

Winner: Caroline Ahn for “Summer Sketches” for orchestra


2018 Miriam Gideon Prize ($500)

sponsored by Lucille Field Goodman, to a composer at least 50 years of age for a work for solo voice & 1-5 instruments.

Winner: Dana Maiben for “The Green House” for Contralto, wind-chimes, flute, bassoon, viola, piano.


2018 Libby Larsen Prize ($300)

sponsored by Libby Larsen, to a composer who is currently enrolled in school for a work in any medium.

Winner: Lydia Dempsey for “Pas de Deux” for Oboe and Piano


2018 PDX Prize ($300)

for a Jazz compositions of any duration for small ensemble to big band (4-17 instruments)

Winner: Migiwa Miyajima for “Colorful” for Big Band.


2018 PatsyLu Prize ($500)

sponsored by Patsy Rogers and Lucille Field Goodman, for classical art music in any form by black women and/or lesbians.

Winner: Lauren McCall for “A Spark and a Glimmer” for Violin, Cello and Piano.


2018 Alex Shapiro Prize ($500 and mentorship/consultation from Alex Shapiro)

sponsored by Alex Shapiro, for a work of any duration for large ensemble wind band requiring a conductor, with or without soloist, acoustic or electroacoustic, published or as yet unpublished. Additional Honorary Mention Prize ($100).

Winner: Janice Macaulay for “Kaleidoscope” for Wind Symphony

Honorary Mention: Celka Ojakangas for “Bonehead Fizzix” for Wind Ensemble.


2018 Judith Lang Zaimont Prize ($400)

sponsored by Judith Lang Zaimont, for an extended instrumental composition—large solo or chamber works—by a composer at least 30 years old whose music has not yet been recorded or published.

Winner: Yiheng Yvonne Wu for “Dreams of a Young Piano ” for solo piano, two percussionists, and ensemble


The PDX Prize was judged by Alan Baylock and Ayn Inserto. The judges for the other prizes were
Dr. Jennifer Jolley, Dr. Amelia Kaplan and Dr. Seunghee Chrissy Lee. Dr. Ingrid Stölzel served as chair of the competition.





Biographies for the 2018 Prize Winners:

Clark/Front Prize winner: Caroline Ahn has been writing music that is deeply inspired by the natural world. Her music is described as ‘entirely delicate and lyrical’ yet has strong power that grabs audience’s attention. Her recent style shows a more minimalistic approach to composing but still greatly focuses on timbre using a lot of repeating and perpetuating motions. Her achievements are being chosen in the Miami (FL) selection for New Music Days, Excellence in Composition prize at the IBCF (International Brass Chamber Music Festival, KY), an honorable mention by IAWM (International Alliance for Women in Music) for the Libby Larsen Prize, SCI, finalist for the prestigious Respighi Composition Competitions of 2014 season. Caroline was also selected as one of the finalists of Sioux Symphony Orchestra as ‘Composer of the Year’ in 2014. Caroline won the Donghak Civil War theme song competition in Korea in the same year. Born in Seoul, Korea, Caroline KyungA Ahn holds degrees from Yonsei University (BM in composition), Eastman School of Music (MM and MA in composition and pedagogy of theory) and Indiana University (DM in composition). Her compositions include orchestral, chamber, and theatrical works that have been widely performed in South Korea, the United States, Europe and South America. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at Anderson University where she teaches composition and music theory. She also serves as a chair for Opus Composition Festival and Commissioned Composer of IMTA and a president of non- profit organization, Sound of Hope.

Gideon Prize winner: Composer, conductor, medieval fiddler, violinist and violist Dana Maiben, winner of the 2018 Miriam Gideon Prize, is a Resident Scholar of the Women’s Studies Research Center of Brandeis University, where The Green House was premiered in 2013. Her compositions include a chamber opera, Look and Long, based on the play by Gertrude Stein, instrumental chamber music, and music for dance and theater, for solo voice(s) and instrument(s), and for a capella voices. Maiben holds degrees from Smith College and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and counts medievalist Thomas Binkley, violinist Jaap Schroeder, choreographer Paula Josa Jones, and composers Ron Perera and Lou Harrison as important mentors. Hailed by the Boston Globe for her “supremely joyous artistry,” Maiben performs music from the 12th century to the 21st, conducts opera and oratorio, and has earned international recognition for her performances of 17th-century music. Her discography as a violinist includes sonatas by Francesca Danzi Lebrun (Dorian) and Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (forthcoming). Maiben teaches at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Larsen Prize winner: Lydia Dempsey (b. 1993) is a composer and oboist currently based in Iowa City, Iowa. Since the completion of her ballet The Wishing Well, her music is increasingly shaped by the consideration of gesture and texture. In 2017, Nermis Mieses and Xavier Suarez premiered Dempsey’s piece Pas de Deux at the International Double Reed Society Conference in Appleton, WI. Her music has received readings by the JACK Quartet and Toledo Symphony Orchestra (Ohio). Dempsey graduated summa cum laude from Bowling Green State University with a B.M. in Music Composition and Oboe Performance in 2016, and she is completing a M.A. in Music Composition at the University of Iowa. Her principal teachers have been Josh Levine, Marilyn Shrude, and Christopher Dietz.

PDX Prize Winner: Composer/Pianist/Producer Migiwa Miyajima’s career path began in Tokyo on a very different trajectory—she worked as a director of real estate ads, an IT engineer, and then an editor- in-chief of a travel magazine. But in 2004, at the age of 30, she decided to become a musician. Five years later, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, a historic New York–based ensemble, recognized Migiwa’s talent and invited her to join their team. She was associate producer for two Grammy Award nominated albums by the orchestra in 2011 and 2014. In 2012, having received a Japanese government scholarship and a Japan- US Friendship Commission Fellowship, Migiwa made her move to New York. Her ensemble Miggy Augmented Orchestra’s debut album Colorful was released by ArtistShare in 2018. She also composes for various other artists and media outlets, such as, Steve Wilson, The Birdland Big Band, as well as nation- wide Japanese radio station – Nippon-Hoso-Broadcast.

PatsyLu Prize winner: Lauren McCall is an African American composer, educator, and musician from Atlanta, Georgia. Lauren composes works for chamber ensembles, choirs, soloists, and electronics. She is currently a student in the Vermont College of Fine Arts where she has studied with Dr. John Fitz Rogers, Andy Jaffe, and Dr. John Mallia. Lauren is actively involved in collaborative projects, and she has served as a commissioned composer for the Georgia Music Teachers Association along with other opportunities, having had compositions performed around the world including in Munich, Germany; at the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium in Eugene, Oregon; and Montreal, Canada. She is an active member of the IAWM and the Southeastern Composers League. In addition to composing, Lauren enjoys playing clarinet and piano, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Shapiro Prize Winner: Janice Macaulay Janice Macaulay holds a D.M.A. from Cornell University and a BA in English and MAs in English and music from Brown University. She was Associate Professor and Music Department Coordinator at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland. She also taught at Brown University, Cornell University, Wells College, St. John’s College, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and has lectured on a wide variety of musical topics at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Macaulay has received awards from the International Delius Composition Competition, Meet the Composer, the International League of Women Composers, the National Women’s Music Resource Center, and the Cornell Center for the Creative Arts. Her music has been performed at the Charles Ives Center for American Music, at regional and national conferences of the Society of Composers, Inc. and the International Alliance of Women in Music, and at colleges and universities across the country.
Shapiro Prize Honorary Mention: Celka Ojakangas (b. 1992) is a Los Angeles-based composer and violist who gets inspiration for her pieces from her family’s musical and scientific backgrounds. Her work has been performed and commissioned by USC Thornton’s Wind Ensemble, the Post-Haste Reed Duo, the Oklahoma Haydn Festival, and many up and coming performers. Celka is a doctoral candidate in music composition at University of Southern California where she also works as a teaching assistant in theory and aural skills. She received her Master’s of Music Composition at USC where she studied with esteemed professors Dr. Frank Ticheli and Dr. Sean Friar. Celka received her BA in Music Composition from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri studying under Dr. Carlyle Sharpe and has studied independently with Dr. Mara Gibson at UMKC. Upcoming collaborations include work with the Boston New Music Initiative, the USC Saxophone Studio and musicians Erin Cameron and Jonathan Morgan.

Zaimont Prize winner: Yiheng Yvonne Wu (b.1981, Taiwan) studied composition at the University of California, San Diego (Ph.D., M.A.) and Yale University (B.A.). She has received commissions from the La Jolla Symphony conducted by Steven Schick, Arraymusic, Palimpsest, the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association, Figmentum, Bonnie Whiting, Jessica Aszodi, Carla Rees, Rachel Beetz, and Dustin Donahue. Her music has been performed by MIVOS string quartet and Ensemble SurPlus and featured in the WasteLAnd concert series, at New Music on the Bayou, SoundSCAPE Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and Schloss Solitude Summer Academy. She was the winner of the 5th Mivos/Kanter String Quartet Composition Prize. Primary composition teachers have included Katharina Rosenberger, Kathryn Alexander, John Halle, Sophia Serghi, and Steven Takasugi. She teaches composition and music theory and leads the InterArts Ensemble at Beloit College in Wisconsin.