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The 2018 Dale and Nancy Briggs Chamber Music Competition

Application Form

The 2018 Dale and Nancy Briggs Chamber Music Competition Application Form



The Briggs Chamber Music Competition was created in an ongoing effort to encourage the excellence of chamber music performance at at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and to provide performance opportunities for various ensembles. It is named in honor of its benefactors and evolved from the Dale and Nancy Briggs Chamber Music Endowed Enrichment Fund, established in 2004 and endowed in 2006, to support program and/or scholarship needs in chamber music.

In 2018, the M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition will be welcoming one wildcard entry to the Senior Division: the winning ensemble from the 2018 Briggs Chamber Music Competition will be advanced to the semi-finals in the appropriate category (strings, winds or open).


The competition is open to any instrumentation/voice types in groups of 3-10 members. Every member of an entering group must be an enrolled student (at Michigan, not necessarily in a chamber music course) in winter 2018.


Repertoire: at least 40 minutes of music, at least two complete works, remainder of time may be movements or shorter works. Repertoire list will be evaluated for rigor before applications are accepted. Programming choices will factor into adjudication.


February 23, 2018


Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, February 23, 2018. Applicants must get their chamber coach's approval to compete. All names listed as part of an ensemble must compete at the time of the competition; no substitutes will be permitted.

Note: Individual ensemble coordinators may arrange a preliminary round to determine which of their ensembles may advance to the April 7 competition.

April 7, 2018


Competition to be held in Hankinson Rehearsal Hall, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (approximate times).

Each ensemble shall perform a maximum of 30 minutes (performance time may be less), beginning with the piece of their choice. Judges will stop and start as necessary. Three copies of the full score must be supplied to the judges; two photocopies are allowed, but one must be an original score. Page turners will be the responsibility of the performers.


This year's judges will be announced at a later date.


First prize: $4,000 plus invitation to the Semi-Finals of the M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition (May 3-6, 2018 at SMTD)
Second prize: $2,000
Third Prize: $1,000
Michigan Composition Prize: $1,000 for best performance of a piece written by a University of Michigan composer (either a current student or a graduate from the classes of 2013-2017)

Winning groups will be invited to perform on a Winners’ Concert at SMTD in fall 2018.

In Memoriam: Dale Briggs (1930-2016)

The School of Music, Theatre & Dance lost one of its dearest friends and supporters with the passing of Dale Edward Briggs on March 17, 2016. Dale, with his wife Nancy, was responsible for launching the Briggs Chamber Music Competition, funded by the Dale and Nancy Briggs Chamber Music Endowed Enrichment Fund, which Dale and Nancy created in 2004. The fund provides incentive for our students to form long-standing, high-caliber chamber groups and to prepare significant repertoire. The impact this fund has had on the School’s chamber music offerings and activities is immeasurable and growing deeper every day.

In February 2016, the School of Music, Theatre & Dance Alumni Society honored Dale by awarding him the 2016 Hall of Fame award. Dale was an integral part of the University of Michigan since 1957 when he first started his graduate work here. After completing his PhD in chemical engineering, he joined the faculty and taught in the College of Engineering for 38 years. Upon retiring in 1999, he began serving as an external member for Doctor of Musical Arts oral exam committees. He sat on over 100 doctoral committees, supporting the work of a wide range of performers, composers, and conducting DMA graduates.

Dale and Nancy have encouraged SMTD students at every level of study by being stalwart supporters of the performance activity at the School. Over their many years of involvement, they have rarely missed a performance in Hill Auditorium, Britton Recital Hall, McIntosh Theatre, Rackham Auditorium, Lydia Mendelssohn, and the Power Center, attending the many large ensemble, small ensemble, fully staged productions, student recitals and faculty recitals given each year by the School. Their presence in the audience and their thoughtful comments and encouragement afterward have had a profound impact on our community of students, faculty, and staff.

In addition to the amazing time and effort they have shared with SMTD students, Dale and Nancy have also supported the success of students through their generous philanthropy. In addition to creating the Dale and Nancy Briggs Chamber Music Endowed Enrichment Fund, they have given to a variety of programs and scholarships at the School, especially in the areas of opera, voice, and chamber music.

Dale was an incredibly caring, compassionate and generous human being, and his lovely spirit and positive outlook brought much joy to our days.

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower