Emerging Composer Contest

Purpose of Emerging Composer Contest:

Inversion Ensemble is looking for a young composer of color to be highlighted as part of our 2018-2019 Season on our concert entitled I, Too, Sing America: Songs of our Shared History. This concert will focus on pieces that are inspired by American History and contemporary American society with topics ranging from gun violence, LGBTQ rights and racial inequality. Pieces submitted should follow a similar theme in order to be considered for performance. Inversion Ensemble is a modern, innovative ensemble so uses of extended technique, non-traditional forms, etc. are welcomed.


To qualify you must be 35 years or younger as of October 7th, 2018 and currently reside in the United States including Alaska, Hawaii or U.S. Territories. As the contest goal is to give voice to an underserved segment of the compositional world, we prefer that submission come from young composers of color.

Composition Requirements:

  1. 3-7 minutes in duration
  2. Any combination of SATB voicing up to SSAATTBB
  3. May be a cappella or with piano accompaniment
  4. A cappella submissions MUST include piano reduction
  5. Text must be public domain or be accompanied by a letter of permission from copyright owner
  6. Please only submit 1 entry
  7. No fee is required for submission

Please submit a PDF copy of your composition without you name anywhere on the body of composition. The PDF copy must be clear, clean and legible. No handwritten scores will be considered. Graphic scores may be a PDF scan of a written score if applicable. You will also need a cover letter that includes the following information:

  1. Composer’s name
  2. Physical Address
  3. Phone Number
  4. Email Address
  5. Date of Birth
  6. Current Occupation (including if you are currently an enrolled student)
  7. Head shot and short bio

Judging criteria includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Composition structure
  2. Voice Leading
  3. Harmonic language
  4. Adherence to concert theme
  5. Text selection and setting
  6. Piano accompaniment (if applicable)
  7. General understanding of choral idiom

All entries must be submitted by August 1st, 2018 to be considered.

The winner will be notified no later than September 1st, 2018. He or she will have the opportunity to have a phone meeting with Artistic Director, Trevor Shaw and members of the ensemble including other composers. The winner will receive a $500 cash prize, certificate of achievement, inclusion of piece on October 2018 concerts, and a recording of composition concert performances.

Please send submissions to Inversion Ensemble Managing Director, Robbie LaBanca at


Introducing Inversion Ensemble: Coda

AUSTIN, TX – April 19, 2018 – Austin’s only choral ensemble dedicated to new music, Inversion Ensemble, is answering the call from singers over the age of 55 for an ensemble of their own: Inversion Ensemble: Coda (IE: Coda). This community ensemble will be dedicated to providing singers ages 55-plus with a fulfilling choral experience while learning and performing new choral music emphasizing local composers. Rehearsals will begin weekly, Thursday, June 14, culminating in a performance on August 12. 

Inversion Ensemble was created three years ago, after artistic director Trevor Shaw and managing director Robbie LaBanca saw a need to create a choral ensemble dedicated to new music. Since it’s inception, Inversion Ensemble has become a group of semi professional singers, performing free concerts in Austin and surrounding areas, operating only on free will donations. Inversion Ensemble is also part of a larger community of new music choral ensembles called the C4 Network. Being a member of the C4 Network, they are allowed access to an entire library of new music and are able to submit their own performed composers to choirs across the country. 

Being connected musicians throughout the Austin choral community, Shaw and LaBanca heard from many older and well seasoned singers that they, too, were interested in singing beyond the masterworks of Bach, Mozart, Haydn, etc. Thus began the idea of IE: Coda. “I have been thrilled that Inversion Ensemble’s audiences thus far have been very diverse in terms of age. Knowing that our fans 55 and older were so passionate about the vision of the ensemble, as well as new choral music in general, compelled me to start an offshoot of the main choir, geared toward that age group. I think it will be thrilling to tap into this sometimes overlooked wealth of musical experience. After all, many of the musicians we all revere most on this earth are (well) over 55; Arvo Part, Yo Yo Ma, and Rene Fleming,” explains Shaw.

“The name “Coda” suggests that there is still something more,” Shaw says about the name of the new ensemble. “There is more music that needs to be heard than can be contained in a single ensemble. There is so much more to be offered by musicians over 55. There is always more to musically explore beyond what we currently hear.” 

Shaw also reminds us of some of the reasons why ensemble singing is important especially for aging members of our community. “In addition to the sense of camaraderie, members of IE: Coda may find themselves pleasantly surprised by their own capabilities as we navigate the world of new choral music together. Just as in IE’s flagship incarnation, Codawill be working directly with composers through the creative process. This season’s “Journey of the Soul” will be an exploration of what it means to reach new places, both geographically and in terms of the mind and soul’s journey to a place of enlightenment.”

IE: Coda will fall under the umbrella of Inversion Ensemble. Members will rehearse once a week and perform concerts at least twice a year, more as the ensemble grows. Members of IE: Coda will function similarly to Inversion Ensemble by offering premiers of new works and collaborations with Inversion Ensemble composers. IE: Coda is currently seeking members for their ensemble and are inviting interested members of the community to an info session and casual rehearsal from 7-9 p.m. on June 14 at Pflugerville United Methodist Church, 500 W Pecan Street, Pflugerville, TX. Participants are asked to make a one-time $50 contribution or a monthly contribution of any amount through our fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas.


Perplexed Music

Join us June 2nd and 3rd for “Perplexed Music”, an experience combining music with one of poetry’s most iconic forms, the sonnet! With settings of texts by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, William Shakespeare, and many others, our programs will feature new works by Inversion Ensemble’s own Phillip Bernard, Marjorie Halloran, Adrienne Inglis, Robbie LaBanca, and Trevor Shaw, as well as a variety of choral works by other talented modern composers, including fellow C4 Network member, David Harris. We hope to see you there!


Colors Harmonic

We’ve begun rehearsing some of the most interesting, beautiful, strange, and unique music we’ve presented yet! Don’t miss “Colors Harmonic”, which will combine choral music with presentations of visual art from some of Austin’s truly talented artists.


Coming in 2018

It’s hard to believe we’re already preparing for our 2018 season, but our next project is just over two months away!

“Colors Harmonic” will explore the beauty of the spectrum through choral music written by our in-house IE composers, as well as new works from our fellow C4 colleagues and other talented composers. Stay tuned for updates and be sure to donate at our Fractured Atlas page so we can keep our concerts free to the public!

Donate now!



Inversion Ensemble wishes to thank all those who came this past Saturday to hear our second concert. We appreciate every one of you! Thanks also to those who donated to us through Fractured Atlas, making the whole project possible. There will be exciting projects full of new music soon!


Inversion Ensemble 2.0

Our second concert, “Love & Nonsense” will take place Saturday, June 3, 7:00pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Austin. The program will explore an unusual balance of musical settings of love poetry and choral works that use nonsense (non-language) syllables for text. We’ll feature music from Adrienne Inglis, Robbie LaBanca, Alex Johnson, Phillip Bernard, Stephanie Andrews, Brent Baldwin, Trevor Shaw, Fahad Siadat, and Toby Twining.

We’ll post more about this free event soon!


Our First Concert

Inversion Ensemble is ringing in the new year by preparing for a concert which is not only notable for being the first of our 2017 season, but also our first public concert…ever!

We are excited to present “Singing of Spirit and Nature”, a program that equally explores the reverence for the deities in which humanity puts its faith and reverence for the natural world around us.  The concert takes place at 7pm, Saturday, February 25 at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Austin.   Featured that evening will be choral works and art songs composed by members of Inversion Ensemble, including Adrienne Inglis, Eric Johnson, Robbie La Banca, and Trevor Shaw, along with other established composers who are directly connected to our organization.  The texts from which those musical works have drawn will include such diverse sources as activist-poet Denise Levertov, a medieval bestiary, and the writings of legendary scientist Charles Darwin.

The concert flyer is available here and on our homepage.  Feel free to click, save, share, and print!