RECENT COMMISSIONS • COMMISSION "HOW TO"

 

RECENT COMMISSIONS

MUSIC OF THE SPHERES for SATB choir and glass armonica
Capitol Hill Chorale: Washington, DC 2017

NO MORE MY LORD for SATB choir
Portsmouth High School Concert Choir, Portsmouth, NH 2017

SURGE ILLUMINARE, new movement for the Christmas Cantata VIDIMUS STELLAM
Capitol Hill Chorale: Washington, DC 2016

BEAUTIFUL HOME and HOME IN ZION
Plymouth Church of Shaker Heights: Shaker Heights, OH 2016

CONSOLATION for SATB choir
Capitol Hill Chorale: Washington, DC 2016

ANGEL OF LIGHT for soprano and SATB choir
Capitol Hill Chorale: Washington, DC 2015

CONDITOR ALME SIDERUM and DORMI, JESU for SATB choir
Capitol Hill Chorale: Washington, DC 2014

LAND OF PURE DELIGHT for string quartet
Canterbury Shaker Village: Canterbury, NH 2014
Premiered as part of the museum exhibit Shaker Traditions: Contemporary Translations

ANGELS HOVERING ROUND for SATB choir
Capitol Hill Chorale: Washington, DC 2014

LINGERING MOMENTS for SATB choir
Phillips Academy Chorus, Andover, MA 2013
Supported by the Abbot Academy Association

VIDI AQUAM for SATB choir
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Annandale, VA 2013

VIDIMUS STELLAM for SATB choir and brass quintet
The Choral Art Society, Georgetown University Concert Choir, Manchester Choral Society, National Lutheran Choir, 2012
Supported by Choral Arts New England, “Alfred Nash Patterson” grant

CIRCLING THE DAWN for solo guitar
Keith Calmes, 2012

ANNUNCIATION for SATB choir
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Rockport, MA 2011

CHILD OF EARTH for mezzo-soprano, choir, strings, and harp
Capitol Hill Chorale: Washington, DC 2010

THREE HORIZONS for SATB choir and piano
Phillips Exeter Academy Concert Choir: Exeter, NH 2009

SONGS FOR THE JOURNEY for SATB choir, strings, horn, harp, and organ
The Concord Chorale: Concord, NH 2009

CELTIC BLESSING for SATB choir and organ
First Presbyterian Church: Fort Worth, TX 2009

THREE SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD for SATB choir and string orchestra
Nashua Symphony Orchestra: Nashua, NH 2008
Supported by National Endowment for the Arts, and NH State Council on the Arts

THIS IS THE DAY for treble choir and piano
St. Thomas Episcopal Church: Cincinnati, OH 2008

NATURE for SATB choir
King’s Chapel: Boston, MA 2007
Supported by Choral Arts New England, “Alfred Nash Patterson” grant

I SING OF A MAIDEN for SATB choir
Capitol Hill Chorale: Washington, DC 2007

MY PEACE IS HERE for SATB choir and string orchestra
Nashua Symphony Chorus: Nashua, NH 2007

PEACE and LAY ME LOW for SSAA choir
Whitworth College Women’s Choir: Spokane, WA 2006

TAKING THE STAGE for SATB choir and string quartet
Nashua Symphony Chorus: Nashua, NH 2006
Supported by Choral Arts New England, “Alfred Nash Patterson” grant

CRADLE SONG for solo guitar
Aaron Larget-Caplan, 2006

THREE SHAKER SONGS (The Humble Heart, Simple Gifts, The Star of Purity) for SATB choir
The Tudor Choir: Seattle, WA 2005

AT THE WATER’S EDGE for SATB choir
Community Chorus at South Berwick: South Berwick, ME 2005
Supported by Choral Arts New England, “Alfred Nash Patterson” grant

THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD for SATB choir and organ
The Diocese of New Hampshire: Concord, NH 2004

TRACING A WHEEL ON WATER for solo guitar
Aaron Larget-Caplan, 2003

ARCS AND CIRCLES for solo piano
Sarah Bob, 2003

MEDIA VITA for SSATB choir
The Tudor Choir: Seattle, WA 2000


Commission "How To"

Commissioning a new piece of music is a fun and exciting collaborative process and need not be prohibitively expensive. Typically, the process works like this:

Step 1: Defining the parameters

During the course of a telephone call or email exchange, specific parameters of the commission can be discussed. These might include:

  • Instrumentation or voicing
  • Duration
  • Difficulty level/performance requirements
  • Text or poem
  • Dedication
  • Timeline (including dates for delivery or score and parts)
  • Commission fee schedule

It is extremely helpful to know as many details as possible about the performer(s), and the premiere performance. What are the strengths of an ensemble? What pieces are their favorites to perform? What is the acoustic like in the space where the work will be premiered? All such details go to creating a vivid picture of the commissioning party and inform the finished work.

I also recommend that the commissioning party consider in advance the desired level of composer participation (giving workshops, lectures, or talks, attendance at rehearsals and/or premiere, etc.). Commissioning parties are highly encouraged to cover the expenses for the composer to travel to and attend the premiere performance.

Step 2: Drafting a letter of agreement

Once the parameters of the commission have been defined and agreed upon, we can draft a letter of agreement specifying these details. This letter makes clear the rights and responsibilities of all parties and becomes the working document for the commissioning project, insuring that everyone is on the same page. I typically send two copies of the letter to the commissioning person or organization. One signed copy of the letter can then be returned to the composer along with an initial payment (usually 50% of the commissioning fee).

An excellent source for further information about commissioning music, including a rough fee scale, is Commissioning Music: A Basic Guide, a publication of the national organization Meet the Composer.

If you would like to start a conversation and discuss the possibility of a commissioned work, please get in touch via the form below.

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