Congratulations to 2021 KMEA Student Composition Winner Benjamin Carter!

Congratulations to 2021 KMEA Student Composition Winner Benjamin Carter!

 Every year, KMEA solicits submissions from undergraduate student composers currently studying at a Kentucky college/university to submit an original score for consideration in the Kentucky Music Educators Association Collegiate Composition Competition. The 2021 winner is UofL School of Music’s Benjamin Carter with his winning work for SATB choir, A Winter Night.

Benjamin Carter, sophomore, is a composer, pianist, vocalist, and violist who is currently pursuing a B.M. in Music Composition at the University of Louisville. A native of Bowling Green and a proud graduate of Bowling Green High School, Benjamin is also an alumnus of both the Governor’s School for the Arts and the Governor’s Scholars Program. At UofL, Benjamin studies composition with Dr. Steve Rouse, piano with Dr. Anna Petrova, and sings in the Collegiate Chorale and Cardinal Singers, both under the direction of Dr. Kent Hatteberg. Benjamin is also a member of the Brown Fellows Program, a prestigious academic scholarship program dedicated to attracting and retaining bright, passionate minds for the betterment of the Commonwealth. Upon completion of his B.M. in Music Composition, Benjamin plans to attain an M.M. and a D.M.A. in Choral Conducting, eventually working as a university-level choir director while maintaining an active composition career.

 Composed in April 2020, “A Winter Night” is an SATB choral piece dedicated to those suffering physically, mentally, and emotionally during the ongoing pandemic. The piece utilizes a Sara Teasdale poem of the same name, and in the poem, the speaker conveys empathy for those less fortunate, stating “God pity all the homeless ones, the beggars pacing to and fro.” This sense of compassion is reiterated in the closing stanza of the piece when the speaker laments “But somewhere, like a homeless child, My heart is crying in the cold.” Teasdale’s text is hauntingly chilling, portraying a bleak coldness both literally and metaphorically, and the composition is intentionally crafted to reflect both bleak coldness and a sense of empathy. Ultimately, the piece serves as a reminder that in times of fear and darkness such as these, it is essential that we maintain our sense of compassion and kindness for our fellow human beings.

 Benjamin can be contacted with commission inquiries via email at


 Listen: A Winter Night - Benjamin Carter, KMEA Student Composition Winner, 2021