Dear friends,

I am thrilled to announce the winner of Ensemble Companio’s 10th Anniversary Commission Competition:

Carlos Cordero!

Carlos impressed the jury – not only with his musical artistry and vision for a composition that will form the centerpiece of our tenth anniversary season – but also the emotional connection and spirit of collaboration he presented in his proposal, which is key to our mission of building bridges through choral music.  We are so excited to partner with him, and can’t wait to see what he creates for us!

To get to know him better, here is a little about Carlos in his own words:

Hola, People! My name is Carlos Cordero! I am a full-time composer, hug-giver, and singer with a crazy mind. My passion for choral music and connecting with others has led me to create meaningful experiences and relationships around the world, including winning several composition competitions. Back in 2018 I was selected as University of Houston’s Affiliated Fellow at the American Academy of Rome, spending two months in Rome writing music and poems, eating delicious food, and meeting fascinating people. I love writing music for singers, including an operetta called Un Cuento de Luces y Sombras. I also write for instruments, just less often! My pieces have traveled around the world, including America, Europe, and Asia!

I am originally from Venezuela, a beautiful country with delicious food! I am living in Austin, Texas with my husband, Ryan Heller after finishing my Master of Music in Composition at University of Houston, where I studied with Dr. David Ashley White. I can’t believe I had the chance to sing with UH’s Concert Chorale under the direction of Dr. Betsy Cook Weber, winning the 28th Béla Bartók International Choral Competition Grand Prix. Most of my scores are self-published in my website, The Happy Choir. Panamusica, E.C. Schirmer, and Selah Publishing publish some of my scores too.  I am currently working on The Happy Choir while working as composer-in-residence in Chorus Austin. I am a former Choral Conductor and Music Educator at El Sistema, with a B.M. and a Specialization in Composition from Universidad Católica Cecilio Acosta.

I also wish to publicly express my heartfelt appreciation for the singing members, alumni, and community members who graciously and enthusiastically gave of their time to serve on the jury to select our winner:

Arianne Abela
Director of Choral Activites, Amherst College

Evan Crawford
EC alum and past board member

Elise Croteau-Chonka
EC alum and past board member

Elena Gregorio
Founding EC member and section leader

Erik Peregrine
EC Artistic Director

Colin Riley
EC alum and past board member

Mikey Steiger,
EC member and current President

Cailin Wilkie
EC alum and past President

On behalf of Ensemble Companio, I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and I wish you the best in the new year!

With love and gratitude,

Mikey Steiger
President, Ensemble Companio