Call For Scores

  • How to Apply

    Applications are due June 11, 2018, 5:00pm EST

    Apply Now

EarShot: Grand Rapids Symphony

September 25-30, 2018 (Grand Rapids, MI)

Application Receipt Deadline: June 11, 2018, 5:00pm EST
Composer Notification: July 16, 2018


American Composers Orchestra seeks to identify and celebrate emerging American composers through its Underwood New Music Readings and EarShot program.

Each program provides:

  • Your piece rehearsed and performed by a professional orchestra
  • Mentor composers throughout the residency to guide the process and offer feedback
  • Professional development seminars and networking opportunities
  • National exposure supported by ACO partners New Music USA, American Composers Forum and the League of American Orchestras
  • Travel and accommodations

We encourage composers of all backgrounds to apply and are interested in supporting voices underrepresented in the orchestral repertoire today. Selected women composers are eligible for a $15,000 Women Composer Commission with an orchestra through a joint initiative of the League of American Orchestras and the American Composers Orchestra with support from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

More program information is available here:


  • This program is for composers who have had fewer than 2 pieces performed by a professional orchestra.
  • Applicant must be either a U.S. citizen or non-citizen lawfully and permanently residing, or studying full-time, in the United States.
  • We seek composers of all backgrounds, especially those whose gender identity, race, ethnicity, and/or background has been historically or currently underrepresented in professional orchestral programming.
  • There are no age restrictions; applicants should be composers at the early stages of their professional careers.
  • Composers selected to participate in prior ACO EarShot, Underwood, or Whittaker New Music Reading Sessions are ineligible.
  • Past applicants not previously selected are welcome to re-apply with a new and complete application, including score and all required background information.

Application Instructions

  • Each composer may submit only one composition for consideration. Works that have been previously submitted to ACO for consideration may not be resubmitted.
  • Works may not have been performed or read by a professional orchestra
  • Only works completed after January 1, 2015 will be considered.
  • Compositions must be less than 15 minutes in length. A portion or movement from a longer work may also be considered.
  • Refer to the instrumentation listed on the application form. If your piece does not match the listed instrumentation, if selected you will be asked to re-orchestrate.
  • Compositions may not include soloists, electronics, MIDI, digital technology, and/or sound reinforcement.
  • Do not submit recordings.
  • The quality of the score submitted is the primary evaluation criterion. 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.

Please note: composers selected are responsible for delivering timely professional-quality score and parts.

Applicants must submit an electronic submission form, the orchestral score in PDF clearly labeled with the title and composers name on cover page, and current resume. There is no application fee.

For application questions, please contact Greg Evans, Director of Operations, at 212.977.8495 ext 202; or