A Guide to Commissioning New Works
Commissioning a new piece of music is a very exciting undertaking for both the composer and the commissioning performer/ensemble. I am interested in discussing commissions for various different genres, instrumentations, and events. Some of my recent commissions include operas, choral works (both liturgical and concert), solo piano pieces, and mixed ensemble pieces. Please feel free to contact me with ideas for new projects.
Commissioning rates differ from project to project and depend on the length of the piece, the size of the ensemble/instrumentation, and the time allowed for composition. Please contact me directly to discuss the rate that works best for your ensemble and/or organization. The industry standard rates have been set by New Music USA (which used to be called Meet the Composer), an organization that offers support services regarding the creation of new music.
*Note: All fees are negotiable. See here for more information (PDF): New Music USA, Guide to Commissioning Music.
I prefer to be contacted at least 6-12 months before the final due date of the commissioned work is expected to be delivered for rehearsal and performance preparation. Each commission comes with it's own set of unique circumstances, but enough time needs to be allowed for planning, writing, editing, and score/part creation.
As the composer, I will maintain the copyright for all of my compositions. As the commissioning party, you can request sole performing rights of the work for an allotted amount of time without performance by another ensemble. These details will defined in the contract.
Attendance at the Premiere
A very exciting and important part of the commission experience is the presence of the composer at the premiere and final rehearsals. To be able to work with those who will breath life into a new work is an vital part of the process and a great deal of fun. If your organization is interested in doing community outreach or some other type of residency as a part of the commission, I am very happy to participate in any way that I can. Travel and lodging costs as well as a small stipend for a residency can be factored into the contract for the commission.
I report all of my premieres and performances to ASCAP, an important performing rights organization. When the time of the performance arrives, please visit the Performance Notification page on my website to report the performance. Or, you may directly contact ASCAP to report the performance. I also request a recording of the premiere performance for my personal and promotional use. These recordings will not be sold.
- Washington National Opera under Francesca Zambello commissioned Penny, a one-hour opera in one act.
- Fairfax Methodist Church, VA, commissioned a new sacred anthem, text to be determined.
- Cincinnati Bach Ensemble and St. Thomas Episcopal Church commissioned The Firstfruits Of Them That Slept, an Easter Cantata for soloists, choir, and small orchestra, to be paired with J.S. Bach's cantata BWV 67.
- Miami University Men's Glee Club commissioned Lead Gently, Lord, an anthem for TTBB a cappella.
- St. Thomas Episcopal Church, OH, commissioned Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis (St. Thomas Service), for Choir SATB and Organ.
- Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra commissioned Fantasia On An Air, for Organ and Orchestra.
- St. Thomas Episcopal Church commissioned For I Was An Hungered, for SATB and Organ.
- Ascend Voices commissioned Pater Noster for Double Chorus a cappella.
- Washington National Opera commissioned A Game of Hearts, a 20-minute opera in one act.
- Barlow Endowment for New Music commissioned A La Orilla Azul Del Silencio, a multi-movement suite for solo piano.