As a part of its efforts to encourage the next generation, the Center for Church Music offers two biennial awards open to students in any Lutheran college, university or seminary in the U. S. and Canada.

Purposed to cultivate interest in the music and the visual art of the Church, these competitions are carefully juried, not only selecting a winner but also offering individual critique and direction for these budding composers and artists.

Each award brings a $1,000 cash prize and public presentation and recognition of the student’s work.

William Wolfram Student Award in Liturgical Art

The Center for Church Music invites applications for the William Wolfram Student Award in Liturgical Art. Offered biennially beginning in 2022, the award’s name honors William Wolfram, Professor Emeritus of Art at Concordia University Nebraska, whose artwork graces church sanctuaries throughout the United States, for his distinguished service in the Church.

The William Wolfram Student Award in Liturgical Art recognizes student artists who evidence:

  • commitment to Christian faith and practice
  • excellence in artistic expression
  • commitment to the creation of art purposed for use within worship settings.

Undergraduate or graduate students currently enrolled in Lutheran colleges, universities, and seminaries located within the United States and Canada are eligible to apply for consideration. Recent graduates may also apply.

A panel of judges from various geographic areas will consider the applications and select the award recipient.

The recipient will receive a certificate and monetary award of $1,000, to be presented at the annual Lectures in Church Music at Concordia University in Chicago, IL (travel assistance will be provided to the recipient).

In order to be considered, applications must be submitted as a single PDF attachment emailed to no later than 12 midnight on May 1, 2024.

Please provide quality images of your work(s) with one full image and 1 or 2 detail images along with title, media, dimensions, year created, and anything else you would like the judges to know about your work and how the Christian faith intersects with your art studies and/or practice. (Maximum 300 words)

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Richard Hillert Award in Student Composition

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.

His 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 will be awarded every other year to a current student at a Lutheran university or seminary. (Recent graduates may also apply.)

  • 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 $1000 will be awarded at the ALCM biennial conference, which may also include a performance of the work as a part of its program. The Center will also donate $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. Only one composition will be considered  per composer.

Submissions for the 2024 award must be received by June 1, 2024. Submissions should be sent to

Download Informational Flyer