Help! New Music Service Organizations Answer the Call

Organizations dedicated to helping the arts come in many shapes and forms. In the world of music, there are many that assist and promote specific art forms. In addition to organizations whose exclusive mandate is new music, many national service organizations that specialize in specific genres of music help promote new music along with their activities for older music.

In June 1999, the American Symphony Orchestra League (ASOL), devoted most of its annual conference to the issue of new American music and how it can be incorporated into the symphonic repertoire. At the Conference, ASOL unveiled NewMusicNow, a promotional Web site for new orchestral music. ASOL also publishes Symphony magazine which maintains ongoing coverage of new repertoire. And, every year, ASOL, in collaboration with ASCAP, gives Adventurous Programming Awards to orchestras committed to repertoire composed in the past thirty years.

Although Chorus America does not currently sponsor a commissioning program, they also collaborate with ASCAP for Annual Adventurous Programming Awards which are given to choruses committed to post-1970 repertoire. Chorus America’s Choral Awareness Program, currently on hiatus but scheduled to start up again next season, matches choruses with new repertoire, sewing the seeds for ongoing relationships. The First Art, Chorus America’s nationally-syndicated radio program, frequently features performances of new music by member choruses.

Chamber Music America (CMA) joins forces with ASCAP for their Adventurous Programming Awards as well, and also supports new music through a variety of grants programs and commissions. CMA’s bi-monthly magazine Chamber Music offers extensive coverage of performances and recordings of new chamber music repertoire. [Ed. note: The writer is the Associate Editor of Chamber Music.]

Opera America‘s primary new music initiative is The Next Stage, a 15 year-old re-granting program designed to keep new North American operatic repertoire alive through funding subsequent productions of works which have already received a premiere performance. (The program is currently on a one-year hiatus.) In addition, Opera America publishes two semi-annual newsletters: In The Works, which enumerates works in progress and recent premieres of North American operas and musical theater works; and Encore, which, per issue, highlights 20 extant North American works that have received few professional productions.

If you need some help finding out about grants, the Foundation Center could be for you. Its offices in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Cleveland are a good place to start when looking for grants. The Foundation Center also publishes a catalogue of publications that’s chock full of grants and information.

For assistance in the publishing realm, try the Music Publishers Association of the United States, or the National Music Publishers’ Association, Inc.. Serving as a monitoring service for licensing musical copyrights on all types of recordings is the Harry Fox Agency. And if you need legal counsel and you or your organization can’t afford a lawyer, contact Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

From Help! New Music Service Organizations Answer the Call
by Karissa Krenz
© 1999 NewMusicBox

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