The Center for Church Music, in partnership with the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, wishes to honor the legacy of Concordia University Chicago distinguished professor of music Dr. Richard Hillert.

This legacy includes not only his many liturgical pieces and musical works, but also his many gifts for teaching composition.

The Richard Hillert Award in Student Composition is awarded every other year to a current student at a Lutheran university or seminary.

Nominations are now open for the 2020 competition

  • Nominations may come from someone other than the composer.
  • The submitted piece must be a church music composition (3-5 minutes in length)--suitable for a liturgical service.
  • Compositions to be considered by the panel of judges are invited from all geographic areas and from all genres.
  • The cash prize of $500 will be awarded at the ALCM biennial conference (July 2019) which may also include a performance of the work as a part of its program.
  • The Center for Church Music also provides $500 toward the winning composer's travel to the conference.

Submission Requirements

  1. Two electronic copies of the submitted work---one unattributed (without the composer's name) and one with the composer's name are required.
  2. In addition to the required musical scores, composers may submit a recording of the work. 
  3. Submissions for the 2018 award must be received by June 1, 2020.
  4. Only one composition will be considered per composer.
  5. Submissions should be sent to


Past Winners

Hillert 2018

Austin Theriot (Concordia University Nebraska) for his SA and keyboard setting of "Psalm 8."

David Gilson (Concordia University Chicago) for his TTBB acapella motet "Isaiah 12.