The Chamber Orchestra of the Springs' "30th Anniversary Composition Competition" received 170 submissions. After judging music by local, national and international composers, the prize panel's choice was a work by Gilad Hochman, a 31-year-old Israeli. His composition, "A Voice in the Wilderness," will open the orchestra's final subscription concert of this season.

The orchestra appears to have "bought" itself a powerful piece of music.

"While thinking about composing a new work for orchestra, I already knew that I would want to relate to the theme of the desert," said Hochman, from his residence in Berlin. "I asked (Israeli poet) Nava (Semel) if she would write something to serve as inspiration to my creative process and she was immediately captured by the idea. A few days later I received a very strong and fascinating poem that its setting is the desert, but is actually a poem about a couple that had lost the way to communicate with each other."

The concert will also have a strong local appeal. It will feature Jesse McCormick, who plays second French horn for the Cleveland Orchestra but grew up in Colorado Springs.

"He's one of the best horn players in the world today," said music director Thomas Wilson. "He recently won and turned down a position with the New York Philharmonic. His mother, Susan, is a former member of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic who still plays with us occasionally and is a busy freelancer in Denver."

 7 p.m. Saturday (Broadmoor Community Church, 315 Lake Ave.) and 2:30 p.m. Sunday (First Christian Church, 16 E. Platte Ave.); $5-$20; 633-3649;

David Sckolnik, Special to The Gazette

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