Composition competitions

The American Composers Forum website is broken, apparently, so rather than having all the opportunities just listed on the site, they sent out the entire list via email, which is what they used to do.

Since my flameout with the symphony, I haven’t really bothered looking at all the various competitions and calls for scores that flooded my inbox every month. Since I wasn’t writing anything, what was the point? Now, however, the AFO commission has gotten me moving, albeit slugglishly, so I printed out the list.

First of all, what’s this obsession with younger composers? About a third of the competitions were for composers under the age of 30 or 40. Screw them. I like the Yale Glee Club approach: “Composers should be in the early stages of their musical careers.” That’s me, right? I’ve had nothing published and precious little performed. If I’m not emerging, I don’t know the meaning of the word.

These are all opportunities with deadlines in the next six weeks, so I’m going to be submitting stuff I’ve already written for the most part. Just this morning I arranged my Sonnet 18, originally for men’s chorus, and on YouTube here, for full SATB. That should fit the bill for most competitions: unpublished, and unperformed in this arrangement.

But I’m also looking at several orchestral/chamber opportunities. I don’t know exactly what I’ll do for those. There’s always the orchestral arrangement of “Milky Way” that I did for last summer’s abortive Chinese event, but that wouldn’t be small enough for a chamber competition. I haven’t examined all of those carefully yet, so I may have to chuck some of them.

There’s the National Opera Association’s chamber opera competition, and for that I think I’m going to submit William Blake’s Inn. Why not? What’s the worst they can do to me? Blackball me?

There are two wind ensembles who are both celebrating their anniversaries with a call for fanfares. That could be a lot of fun to work on, although I’m not very comfortable with the band sound.

At any rate, that’s where I am, compositionally-speaking-wise, at the moment.

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