The Submission FAQs and Guidelines below are subject to change during the next Festival cycle.

Submission Guidelines 

A musical composition submitted to Shalshelet

  • may be a work for choir or vocal ensemble; a simple melody; or a melody with instrumental arrangement;
  • may be in any musical style;
  • may be intended for the congregation and/or sheliah tzibbur (service leader) in a religious service, or for other purposes including (but not limited to) holiday and life-cycle celebrations, concert performance, or individual prayer;
  • must have been composed for a sacred Jewish text (in Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, or another language);
  • may not be a work with multiple movements (such as a service, or a song cycle),  but individual pieces or movements from the work may be submitted as separate compositions.  The composition may be subtitled as part of the larger work.
  • must not have been previously published (either as sheet music or a recording) by a major publishing house or by a professional organization such as (but not limited to) the Cantors Assembly. Examples of major publishing houses include Transcontinental, Tara, Zamir, or Soundswrite Publications. Work that is self-published, or published by an organization that functions more as a distributor or a clearing-house than an actual publisher, is allowable. If further clarification is needed, please contact Shalshelet.

Submitting Music

A composition may be submitted as notated music, or by recording, or both. Up to 3 compositions may be submitted. Submissions will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed unless Shalshelet has received a signed application form and required fees from the submitter.

Review Process

All submissions are prepared for review by a Shalshelet staff member who does NOT serve on the Music Review Committee. Before compositions are sent to the Committee for review, all identifying information is removed. This applies to both written and recorded formats.Members of the Music Review Committee have no access to identifying information on the submission or application materials, nor to any lists or correspondence containing names of submitters. If a member of the Music Review Committee recognizes the identity of a composer while the review process is underway, that member must recuse him or herself from the process of reviewing the composition in question. If the two remaining members of the Music Review Committee reach a consensus, their decision shall be final. If the two remaining members do not reach consensus, the composition shall be submitted to one or more members of Shalshelet’s Advisory Board for review. To ensure fairness, the Advisory Board members shall receive the composition in question along with representative samples of compositions that have already been reviewed (both selected and not selected) by the Music Review Committee. Shalshelet’s Music Review Committee members, Board of Directors and staff are not permitted to submit music.

When a composition is selected for the Festival

The composer will retain the copyright to his/her original work →  but will grant a license to Shalshelet to create (if Shalshelet chooses and in consultation with the composer) a musical arrangement (instrumental or choral) of the composition for uses associated with the Festival (concert performance, workshop performance, distribution via CD, publication in Festival Songbook and other Shalshelet publications, and other Shalshelet educational and outreach activities). Any musical arrangement, whether commissioned by Shalshelet from composers of its choosing, or written by members of its Board of Directors or Advisory Board, will belong solely to the arranger(s) and/or Shalshelet. Shalshelet, in turn, will give composers a nonexclusive license to any arrangements it makes of the composition. Shalshelet will not make any other use of the composition without the composer’s written permission. All proceeds from sales of Shalshelet recordings and publications will belong to Shalshelet. Shalshelet reserves the right to make minor changes to Hebrew text, transliterations and translations in any written or audio materials published by Shalshelet, for the purpose of conforming to commonly-used standards. In order for a composition to be published by Shalshelet, the composer must provide a transcription of the composition (preferably in Finale music notation format). Shalshelet will provide guidance but will not be responsible for preparing the transcription or bear any expense connected with having the composition transcribed.