Margaret Hillis Award for Artistic and Organizational Achievement

Margaret Hillis Award for Artistic and Organizational Achievement 

The Margaret Hillis Award for Artistic and Organizational Achievement is given to a Chorus America member chorus in recognition of sustained artistic accomplishments and organizational strength.


Applicants must be a chorus member of Chorus America. 

 For the 2024 awards cycle, this award is open to adult volunteer choruses. 

Eligibility rotates through a three-year cycle, and future categories include:

  • 2025: Children/youth choruses
  • 2026: Professional and professional-core choruses: fully professional choruses that pay 100% of their singers and choruses with a core of professional singers (25% of singers, or 12 singers, whichever is fewer)

A chorus may win this award only once. 

Deadline and How to Apply

The deadline to submit via the Chorus America Application Portal (CAAP) is Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at 11:59PM ET.

The online application will ask for the following information:

  • Chorus information and Mission Statement
  • Describe how the chorus nominee has distinguished itself in the area of artistic achievement. Include information on the chorus’s programming philosophy and programming highlights from at least the last two seasons.
  • Describe how the chorus nominee has distinguished itself in the area of organizational strength.  Include information on the chorus’ fiscal management, current financial position, and plans for maintaining stability in the future. If deficits occurred in any given season, explain the efforts made for debt reduction.
  • Describe the chorus nominee’s efforts to advance access, diversity, equity, and inclusion through its work.
  • List and briefly describe all programs involved with education, outreach or reaching new audiences in the chorus nominee’s community. 
  • List repertoire performed during the last two complete seasons and current year. Give dates of all performances. 
  • Financial statements for the last two complete seasons, such as income statements and balance sheets.
  • Upload 2-5 representative recordings following these guidelines:
    • A minimum of two pieces and maximum of five, with a maximum total playing time of 20 minutes.
    • All selections on the recording must be from the last two complete seasons or the season in progress.
    • At least one selection must be an unedited live performance or rehearsal. 
    • Applicants are encouraged to exclude long instrumental introductions or interludes.
    • Applicants are encouraged to include a variety of compositional styles and choral techniques.
    • A number of audio or video file formats are accepted, including YouTube or Vimeo links. 
  • Provide a track list of the representative recordings, listing composer, title, date performed/recorded, and timing of each selection. Note which are live recordings and which are edited recordings.
  • Submit a request through CAAP for one letter of support from a partner or community member. 

Please refer to the Margaret Hillis Award for Artistic and Organizational Achievement rubric as an additional resource. 

Please note: While there are no word limits for responses to the narrative questions, we find that concise responses that address the prompt and award rubric criteria in 2-4 paragraphs tend to be most successful.

Applications will only be accepted through CAAP

Recipients are selected by an award panel composed of experts in the award area from the Chorus America community, Chorus America board members, and/or past award recipients. This award is not required to be given annually and will be given at the discretion of the panel. 

Questions? Email Karyn Castro, programs and membership manager, at [email protected]

Margaret Hillis Award for Artistic and Organizational Achievement

Past Awardees

2024VOX Femina Los Angeles
2020Young Women's Choral Projects of San Francisco
2019Chor Leoni
2018Houston Chamber Choir
2017Young People's Chorus of New York City
2016The Washington Chorus
2015The Crossing
2014Los Angeles Children's Chorus
2013Atlanta Master Chorale (formerly known as the Atlanta Sacred Chorale)
2012Los Angeles Master Chorale
2011Boston Children’s Chorus
2010Choral Arts (Seattle, WA)
2008Anima (formerly known as the Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus)
2007National Lutheran Choir
2006Grant Park Chorus
2005Conspirare The Rose Ensemble
2004SHALLAWAY-Newfoundland and Labrador Youth in Chorus (formerly known as Newfoundland Symphony Youth Choir)
2003Mormon Tabernacle Choir Seattle Pro Musica
2002Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia
2001Gregg Smith Singers
2000San Francisco Girls Chorus
1999Master Chorale of Washington (formerly known as Paul Hill Chorale)
1998Vancouver Chamber Choir
1997Detroit Concert Choir
1996VocalEssence (formerly known as Plymouth Music Series)
1994Susquehanna Chorale
1993Pacific Chorale
1992Dale Warland Singers