C4's first Commissioning Competition gave five finalists the opportunity to compose new works for C4: the Choral Composer/Conductor Collective, and to participate in the rehearsal process. Over two hundred composers from around the world submitted scores to the competition.
An anonymous first round of judging by members of the C4 board of directors yielded twenty-two semifinalists. A distinguished judging panel of composer James Bassi, conductor Clara Longstreth and Pulitzer prize-winning composer Steven Stucky then anonymously selected five finalists who were all commissioned to compose new works for C4. After the new compositions were complete, the same three judges chose the first and second place winners.
Prizes of $2,000 for first place, $800 for second place, and $400 for each other finalist were awarded. All five prize-winning composers attended at least one of the performances of their works on March 3rd and 5th, 2011. The competition was funded by the David and Minnie Berk Foundation and the Yale School of Music "alumniVentures" project.