Announcing the Winners of the 2019 “New Voices” Essay Contest

This year, I CARE IF YOU LISTEN again collaborated with 21CM to launch the second iteration of the “New Voices” Essay Contest. We invited college students of any age to submit essays about being a musician in the 21st century—and, for the second year in a row, we were thrilled with the response. Musicians and writers from all over the country offered their takes on practicing art in an ever-evolving world, remembered moving performances, and shared ideas on the continued advancement of our art form.

To all who took the time to sit, organize their thoughts and string words together on the page: thank you. Writing about music, or the work behind any artistic practice, is no easy task. But we need those who will reflect on the meaning of our work as much as we need those who compose, conduct, and perform: Artmaking without reflection quickly becomes purposeless. To any who may have discovered a newfound interest in writing about music because of this contest, we urge you to continue. We need you!

Now, we are delighted to announce the winners of the Second Annual “New Voices” Essay Contest.


John Carroll of State University of New York at Fredonia
for his essay on autism and the concert environment.


Sierra Wojtczack of State University of New York at Fredonia
for her essay about the Institute for Composer Diversity.


Paul David Flood of University of California, Irvine
for his essay about the music of Ted Hearne.

Additionally, we would like to commend the runners-up in our contest.


Isabel Tannenbaum of Vanderbilt University

Natalie Groom of the University of Maryland

Congratulations to all! To our readers, keep your eyes peeled: The winning essays will be published on both and in January.