■2016 2nd Prize Matthew Lyon Hazzard （America）
１．How did you know this competition? and what motivated you to apply?
I learned about the competition through The Composer's Site, which is a website that compiles composition competitions and calls for scores. I try to submit my music to as many competitions as possible, since they are a great avenue for having your music performed and acknowledged. The possibility of having a piece of mine performed by the Metropolitan Chorus of Tokyo was more than enough incentive for me to participate.
２．How did you feel when you won the competition?
When I learned I had placed in the top three, I was ecstatic. The competition is highly competitive, so to receive any level of recognition from the panel was a great honor.
３．How did you feel when your piece was firstly premierd by the Metropolitan chorus of Tokyo?
I saw the premiere at a friend's house when it was streamed live on the internet. During the performance, I couldn't hold back my tears. It was overwhelming. Ko Matsushita interpreted my work impeccably, and captured the real message of the piece. The Metropolitan Chorus of Tokyo performed with the exact level of emotion and expression that I had in mind when I wrote it. It exceeded all my greatest expectations.
４．Please send message for following applicants.
I participated in the ICCCJ twice. The first time, I didn't make the top ten. The second time, however, I won second prize. Keep participating! Even if you don't win the first time, it is absolutely worth giving it a shot. The musicianship of Ko Matsushita and his ensemble is unparalleled. I still listen to their recording of my work regularly to this day, and the smallest chance of having them perform your work is worth every attempt.