Commissions

Let’s Create Something Beautiful Together

There’s no better introduction to the process of commissioning than reading what the American Composers Forum has to say about  it. 

Here are a few supplementary thoughts to that excellent document:

 

My commissioning history

As of this writing, I have completed over 200 commissions for original music and arrangements. I have composed music to celebrate birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, retirements, Father’s Day, Minnesota’s 150th year of statehood, and the end of WWI, to name a few. I have written for dance and theatrical productions, a candlelight vigil for victims of capital punishment, and an opera for fourth-graders about alien invasion.

Commissioning 1

Things to think about concerning your project

  • What the piece is for (who or what is being commemorated; what program will it be a part of)
  • The performing forces (what kind of ensemble, voices, soloists, instruments)
  • Approximate performing duration of piece
  • If the piece is to have a text, do you have one in mind?  If not, what style/author/message/period would you like?
  • Performance date and/or delivery date of score

N.B. You don’t have to have answers to any of these questions; I will likely have plenty of ideas to make music from. But the more you can define your desires and  context for your proposed piece, the more likely I will be able to produce something that will fully satisfy. It gives me perspective that I need to produce music that you and the performers can feel pride and ownership of.

Cost

Here are some guidelines for calculating commissioning costs:

Finding the money (aside from your personal funds)

  • Donors (direct or crowd-sourced)
  • Grants (if you are a not-for-profit organization)
  • Consortium commissioning – a group of people or organizations each of whom commit to a portion of the commission fee. Such groups can be made up of similar arts organizations; supporters of your performer(s); supporters of the person or event the piece will celebrate.

Contract

Our project will begin upon the signing of a contract which will outline the agreements that you and I will make concerning the piece, its content, its ownership, and the commitments made on both sides.

Drop me a note if you have an idea to pitch. I’m always happy to dream about new music with you.

Have a question or want to pitch an idea? 

Get in touch with me here.

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