The Isabel Menton Composition Award recognises Sister Isabel Menton’s contributions to the development of the creative arts in ACU's predecessor college and to Catholic education in Australia more broadly. The award is for unpublished and previously unperformed choral works.
Those who knew Sister Isabel spoke of her witty and joyful conversation, her energy and enthusiasm for life and her capacity for rich friendship. Sister Isabel displayed a love of learning and a dedication to her Josephite vocation and profession as an educator.
After joining the Sisters of St Joseph in 1930, Sister Isabel was appointed to St Joseph’s Training Centre (a teacher training centre for the sisters) in 1948, where she trained music teachers and the renowned sisters' choir. In 1956, she was appointed principal of St Joseph's Training College, which later expanded to form the Catholic College of Education. Throughout her life, Sister Isabel encouraged and supported students in all of their endeavors. She established a library and urged her students to always strive for excellence. In 1991, the Catholic College of Education joined with other colleges to form ACU.
The award for 2018 has two divisions: the liturgical division and the ACU student division.
‘Empathy’ is the theme for both divisions.
The liturgical division is open to all citizens or permanent residents of Australia, and any international student currently studying at an Australian university may also apply.
The ACU student division is open to any student studying at ACU in 2018.
Each entry is assessed according to the following criteria:
Score/notation conventions: scores must be two to four minutes in duration and demonstrate a professional standard of notation. Scored for soprano, alto, tenor, bass (SATB) choir with or without accompaniment (accompaniment may be organ or piano).
Level of difficulty: works submitted must be idiomatic choral compositions that can be sung by a university-level SATB choir of approximately 20 voices.
Quality of text setting: works in the liturgical division must employ text that can be used as an anthem in a Catholic liturgical context.
Choral writing technique: scores should demonstrate an idiomatic approach to choral writing with a level of difficulty appropriate to a 20-voice SATB university choir.
The text of the work should be free of copyright restriction.
Engagement with the theme of the prize.
Scores are assessed anonymously by a panel of judges typically made up of experts internal and external to ACU.