Tennessee teen named as winner of composer competition

Matthew Kimbley is the winner of The Summer Singers’ fifth annual Young Composers Competition. His work, Light of Life, will be premiered as part of The Summer Singers’ 24th season this July.

The Summer Singers’ young composers initiative aims to promote the music of young composers, helping them get a work premiered or performed for a second time. The composer receives a $500 prize, three concert performances of the piece and a professional recording. Composers must be 25 years of age or younger at the time of submission.


Kimbley is well below the age of 25. Just 15 years of age, he is a concert pianist and aspiring composer from Chattanooga, Tennessee and was one of the winners of Southern Adventist University's 2016 Concerto Competition. He has written and arranged a number of works for varying instrumentations and wants to continue to compose.

“I am very blessed to be this year’s winner,” Kimbley said. “I am excited to have my work performed by TSS this year, and I appreciate them giving me this opportunity.”

The Summer Singers will give Light of Life its first performance in July.

“Matthew is the youngest composer to win The Summer Singers Young Composer competition,” said Dr. Russell Adrian, artistic director of The Summer Singers. “His piece begins artfully with phrases growing out of unison pitches into rich harmonies. A fugue-like middle section brings the work to an exciting finale with text that is a perfect fit for our season. I am looking forward to sharing the world premiere in July.”

The Summer Singers will open their 24th season with a concert Saturday, July 20, at 7 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Minneapolis. All TSS concerts are free and open to the public. More information can be found at summersingers.org.

Winners of The Summer Singers’ Young Composers Competition:
2015: Mary Abigail Coleman, Let’s Just Sit and Swing
2016: Michael D. Atwood, Nunc Dimittis
2017: Brianna Drevlow, Eli, Eli
2018: Ilian Lundberg, The Lord is Risen
2019: Matthew Kimbley, Light of Life

The Summer Singers is a chamber choir committed to providing the community with a variety of excellent a cappella music at the highest level of artistry. TSS aims to make its music accessible to all by providing concerts on a free-will donation basis.