Raabe Prize

The Association of Lutheran Church Musicians is pleased to announce that Tom Trenney is the recipient of the 2023 Raabe Prize for Excellence in Sacred Composition for his choral submission, “From Generation to Generation.”

The selection committee, headed by Dr. Thomas Schmidt, included the following comments regarding “From Generation to Generation” in their report to the ALCM board:

“Among the 47 entries in the Raabe Competition this year, there were quite a number of excellent compositions, and it was interesting and gratifying for the committee members to discuss them over three rounds of judging. The winning piece, “From Generation to Generation” by Tom Trenney, was beautifully crafted and used its piano accompaniment, changing meters, and contrasting choral sections to excellent effect. The committee considered the piece, while very interesting and somewhat challenging, accessible for a wide variety of congregations, and this was an important factor in the committee’s decision. In the midst of many fine entries, the committee unanimously felt that it was fresh and creative, capturing the optimism of the text in an exciting and appropriate manner, and its use of the traditional hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” combined with its forward-looking view towards generations to come, was a timely emphasis.”

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The Raabe Prize for Excellence in Sacred Composition is awarded every two years for a single musical work, published or unpublished and written within the last five years, that reflects a larger history of excellence on the part of the composer. Dr. William and Pr. Nancy Raabe of Philadelphia endowed this prize in 1999 to recognize and encourage significant accomplishments in composition contributing to the body of sacred music for the church in the Lutheran heritage. In 2016 the Raabes funded an expansion of the Raabe Prize to support additional projects.

While any sacred piece may be submitted, preference is given to those compositions which grow out of, but are not necessarily restricted to, the worshipping assembly of the baptized who gather around Word and Sacrament. Works that include the voice or voices are preferred over those for instruments alone. The composer need not be Lutheran nor a member of ALCM. The $2,000 monetary award is shared equally by the winner and a musical or ecclesiastical organization chosen by the composer.