Get Involved

Are you a high school ensemble who would like to commission a professional composer but you’re not sure how to get started?  We’re here to help. We work with youth music ensembles, grades 8 -12, throughout the country.
Our Commissions in Concert program provides an opportunity for high school students to participate in the creation of a new piece of music written specifically for them. Students learn in a hands-on way what it is like to compose and to commission a new work while also learning the concepts, skills, and techniques used in contemporary music composition.

The composer joins the students in rehearsals during regularly-scheduled class time and writes a new piece that highlights the strengths of the ensemble while encouraging the students to perform something they may have never done before.

We work with high school ensembles of all types e.g. jazz, mixed ensemble, orchestra, wind band, chamber, choral and more. If you need a flexible score, we can do that too. Whether your students meet online, in person, or a hybrid, we can create a custom commission project that works for you.

Composers & Schools Provides

√ An established commission program for young performers that engages high school students in the concepts, techniques, and skills underlying contemporary music composition.

√ A professional composer that is vetted to work successfully in an educational setting, and who is a good fit for your program and your students. Composers & Schools will help you find this composer.

√ An efficient program where rehearsals and learning sessions fit into each school’s existing rehearsal schedule.

√ Composers & Schools oversees all project administration and payment processing of the commission project to ensure that the music director and composer can focus on the students and the creation of new music.

√ For the premiere performance, we also provide a professional audio or video recording of the premiere by Composers & Schools’ engineers,  program notes for the concert program, and promotion of the premiere performance through press releases, social media promotion and media pitches.

Our Commission Program and Fees

There are two commission program types. Choose the fit that’s right for you.

Program A

A consortium commission is made up of a minimum of 4 school ensembles and a maximum of 15 ensembles. A new piece is developed for the group with a maximum duration of 6 minutes and the challenge level of all ensembles is addressed. All schools receive a get-to-know you session between the music director and composer, two learning sessions/rehearsals with the composer, digital score and parts, and program notes. If there is a live concert, the first ensemble to premiere the piece in the group will receive a professional audio or video recording of the premiere performance by Composers & Schools’ audio engineers.

School fee: $525 per school. The maximum number of schools is 15 and the minimum is 4.

Program B

In a single-school commission you can create a custom project for your ensemble. You will receive consultation with Composers & Schools, a get-to-know-you session with the composer, two learning sessions/rehearsals with the composer, custom score and parts, and a professional audio or video recording of the premiere performance by Composers & Schools’ audio engineers. Composers & Schools will help you find a composer who is the perfect fit for your students. Rehearsals and learning sessions can take place online or in-person.

School fee: $2,000 for a 2-minute piece. Composer travel to the school is additional.

Academic Year Schedule

Spring: School sign-up period
Fall: Composer and music director discuss ensemble needs and develop the framework for the project that includes student involvement.
Fall: Student ideas are delivered to the composer. Score development begins.
Jan: Composer and ensemble 30-min online learning session. Get to know the composer. Discuss the theme and compositional techniques.
Mar 1: Score delivery.
Spring: Composer and ensemble 30-min online learning session and rehearsal.
Spring: Concert, or alternate online experience, composer appearance optional.