Eligibility & Guidelines
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, 2014 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 the 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). Doublings allowed: piccolo, English horn, bass clarinet, and contrabassoon. Composers should expect some re-orchestration will be requested.
- Composers selected are responsible for delivering professional-quality score and parts. Travel and accommodations will be provided.
- Applicants must submit an electronic submission form, the orchestral score and resume. There is no application fee.
How to Apply
Before submitting an application, carefully review the eligibility & submission guidelines above. A complete submission must include the following:
- A completed online submission form.
- A pdf of the score clearly labeled with the composer’s name and title of the work on the cover page.
- A current resume including educational background, major teachers, awards, and professional affiliations.
- There is no application fee.
- The application process must be completed by 5:00 pm EST, October 16, 2017. Late submissions will not be considered.
- Composers will be notified by January 15, 2017.
- Composers must be available and ready to attend reading sessions, feedback meetings and professional development workshops on the dates listed for the reading applied for.
- Composers must provide professional, legible orchestral parts and scores prepared according to guidelines established by the Major Orchestral Librarians Association. Materials for the first reading session must be delivered no later than 45 days before the reading session for which they have been selected.
- Composers agree to: submit photos and sound clips for web use and a short biography for media purposes; to participate in blogging and social media to be videotaped/recorded for archival and promotional purposes; and to have their music recorded for archival and study purposes.
Questions & Information
For questions, contact Underwood New Music Readings in care of the American Composers Orchestra: 212.977.8495 ext 202; or firstname.lastname@example.org