The Lutheran Youth Choir International is pleased to announce the winner of its 2014-2015 International Choral Composition Contest. Sixteen entries from three countries were received.
This year’s winning entry is “Christ Be Born In Us” by Kyle Pederson of Eagan, Minnesota. Mr. Pederson serves on the music staff of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, Minnesota, and is also the co-founder of Learner’s Edge, an international education company. He holds degrees from Augustana College and the University of St. Thomas, and is currently enrolled in the MFA degree program in music composition at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Pederson’s compositions have been sung by choirs in more than a dozen countries. His most recent commission was featured at the 2015 TAISM International High School Choral Festival in Oman. In addition to a $500 cash prize, Pederson’s winning composition will be performed by the Lutheran Youth Choir International at its biennial Festival of American Vocal Music in Germany.
The winner of the choir’s earlier 2013-2014 contest, “Grace and Providence” by Joshua Hummel of Hartford, Connecticut, will be performed six times in Germany as a part of the Lutheran Youth Choir’s upcoming 2015 Festival of American Vocal Music, July 25-August 3. Hummel’s composition will be included in the choir’s original Evening Prayer for Peace service, sung in Mansfeld, Erfurt, Brandais, and Berlin by combined American and German high school students in residence at Mansfeld Castle in Saxony-Anhaldt. Philip Spencer of Naperville, Illinois is the Lutheran Youth Choir’s Founding Conductor and Artistic Director of its Festival of American Vocal Music in Germany.
Emerging talent Kyle Pederson is equally at home as a pianist, recording artist, composer, and arranger. His first project–a collection of instrumental hymn arrangements,
Renewal–was released in 2009 and was chosen as one of the top albums of the year by Mainly Piano. His second album–12.25, a collection of piano solo arrangements of Christmas carols/hymns–landed as high as #4 in the monthly ZMR charts shortly after its release in 2011.
Pederson’s choral compositions have been sung by choirs in over a dozen countries, and his most recently commissioned piece was featured at the 2015 TAISM international high school choral festival in Oman.
Pederson’s music is frequently performed at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, Minnesota, where he works as an arranger, composer, and accompanist. Pederson is also the co-founder of Learner’s Edge, an international education company devoted to improving the quality of teaching and learning. Pederson graduated from Augustana College, holds a masters degree from the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, and is currently enrolled in the music composition MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Composer’s thoughts on the piece, “Christ Be Born in Us”
As a life-long Lutheran, and singing/accompanying in church choirs for over thirty years, I am thrilled that this piece will find a home in such a meaningful context.
The text of the piece was inspired by a conviction that the deepest meanings of Christmas are alive and meaningful throughout the year…in April, July, and of course, late December. At heart, the text is a prayer; we pray that Christ be born into our hearts, into our world, and into the entire creation each and every day. We pray that God’s loving, redemptive power radiate through all that God has made, and that all people and nations may be joined together.