Listen VocalEssence and American Composers Forum Carol Contest
Listen "Come Join Their Song" by Mark Shepperd
Listen "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" by J. David Moore
In 1998, VocalEssence teamed up with the American Composers Forum to hold a Christmas carol contest. It's been an annual tradition ever since.
Each year two winners are chosen from around the country; this year, both of them are from Minnesota.
"Come Join Their Song" is by Mark Shepperd, a Minnesota native and Minister of Music at Woodbury Lutheran Church.
"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" is by J. David Moore, Director of Music at Nativity Episcopal Church in Burnsville, who runs his own choral music publishing company.
Before they could compose their music, both composers needed words for their new carols, and they found inspiration in very different places.
John Birge spoke to Shepperd and Moore, and you can hear both of their beautiful new Christmas carols in the feature audio, or separately in the right column.