Underwood New Music Readings Submission Guidelines

Eligibility & Guidelines

  • Applicant must be either a U.S. citizen or non-citizen lawfully and permanently residing, or studying full-time, in the United States.
  • There are no age restrictions; however, applicants should be composers at the early stages of their professional careers.
  • Each composer may submit only one composition for consideration. Works that have been previously submitted to ACO for consideration may not be resubmitted.
  • Composers selected to participate in prior ACO Underwood/Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions are ineligible.
  • Only works that will not have been performed or read by a professional orchestra nor received a public performance in the New York metropolitan area prior to the reading date are eligible.
  • Your submission may be considered for other eligible EarShot activities during the 2013-14 season if you check the appropriate box on the application form.
  • Do not submit recordings.
  • Only works completed after January 1, 2009, will be considered.
  • Compositions must be less than 15 minutes in length. A portion or movement from a longer work may also be considered.
  • Instrumentation should not exceed ACO’s standard symphonic complement: winds at 3,3,3,3; brass at 4,3,3,1; harp, keyboard, timpani plus 3 percussion, and strings (10, 8, 6, 6, 4). Works with instrumentation which exceed the above will be considered only with advance approval.
  • Works employing electronics, MIDI, digital technology, and/or sound reinforcement in combination with the above instrumental forces will be considered. (See special requirements below.)
  • Works requiring soloists will not be considered.
  • If selected, composers must provide professional, legible orchestral parts and scores prepared according to guidelines established by the Major Orchestral Librarians Association. Materials must be delivered to ACO offices no later than 5 PM, March 1, 2014.
  • The quality of the score submitted is the primary evaluation criteria. It is therefore in the applicant’s best interest that the score be clear, accurate, and the best representation of the composer’s work. The additional background and educational information is for eligibility and documentation purposes, these materials are not considered in the general review of scores.
  • Incomplete, illegible, or late applications will not be considered.

How to Apply

Before submitting an application, carefully review the eligibility & submission guidelines above. The submission receipt (not postmark) deadline is December 2, 2013, at 5PM (EST).

A complete submission must include the following:

  • A completed submission form (pdf)
  • One bound copy of the score, clearly labeled with the composer’s name and title of the work on the cover page.
  • A current resume for the composer including educational background, major teachers, awards, professional affiliations.
  • A list of works, including title, year composed, instrumentation, duration, and performance history.
  • One letter of recommendation from an established composer or other music professional, attesting to the applicant’s accomplishments and potential as an orchestral composer. The recommendation may be sent under separate cover.
  • A self-addressed stamped envelope suitable for the return of materials. All supporting materials remain the property of American Composers Orchestra. ACO is not responsible for lost scores.
  • For works with electronics, MIDI, and/or digital technologies: include a one-page statement describing the rationale for its use, as well as any pertinent production requirements and technical specifications.

Please send all materials to:
Underwood New Music Readings 2014
American Composers Orchestra
244 West 54th Street, Suite 805
New York, NY 10019-5515

For questions or further information:
call: 212-977-8495 ext. 202
email:  readings@americancomposers.org