Become an EarShot Partner

Overview

EarShot is the nation’s first ongoing, systematic program for cultivating relationships between orchestras and emerging composers. A national network of new music readings and composer development programs, EarShot identifies fresh voices reflective of the rich stylistic and cultural diversity present in communities across the country. The program is completely customizable; activities are focused to serve each orchestra’s programmatic goals and community-defined vision.

EarShot is a program of the American Composers Orchestra, in partnership with American Composers Forum, the League of American Orchestras, and New Music USA. 

EarShot Highlights

  • In 2018, EarShot reached over 2,000 new community members through multiple neighborhood performances at Grand Rapids Symphony, integrating the orchestra and participating composers with the highly visible ArtPrize festival. 
  • In 2018, Earshot curated a showcase of orchestral works by emerging women composers for the Philadelphia Orchestra. It resulted in all six composers being commissioned.
  • In 2019, EarShot supported the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion by facilitating a call for scores and recruitment strategy that cultivated a robust pool of Black American composers, with educational programming integrated into the readings experience. 

Case Studies

Houston Symphony Orchestra

Built new relationships with seven Hispanic/Latinx composers

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Reached 500 students and 40 adult educators in one day

Grand Rapids Symphony

Engaged 2,000 new audience members in partnership with ArtPrize

Outcomes

  • Each reading generates 8-12 high level orchestral works from emerging composers, aligned with programmatic priorities.
  • Composer-orchestra relationships extend beyond the EarShot readings. On average, 1-2 works by participating EarShot emerging composers are programmed on a future concert by partner orchestras; many orchestras commission new works from one or more of the participant composers.
  • Past participants indicate that EarShot is a defining moment in their early careers, jumpstarting relationships with professionals in the field and building artistic and civic practice skills towards future commissions and residencies.

Program Components

  • Each reading generates 8-12 high level orchestral works from emerging composers, aligned with programmatic priorities.
  • Composer-orchestra relationships extend beyond the EarShot readings. On average, 1-2 works by participating EarShot emerging composers are programmed on a future concert by partner orchestras; many orchestras commission new works from one or more of the participant composers.
  • Past participants indicate that EarShot is a defining moment in their early careers, jumpstarting relationships with professionals in the field and building artistic and civic practice skills towards future commissions and residencies.

Diversity

EarShot recruits and selects emerging composers that reflect the rich stylistic and cultural diversity present in the communities our partner orchestras are privileged to serve.

In the 2019-2020 season, participants were:

  • 58.5% Cisgender Men
  • 35.5% Cisgender Women
  • 6% Transgender and Nonbinary
  • 34% Asian
  • 29.5% Hispanic and/or Latinx
  • 21% White
  • 17.5% Black
  • 5% Indigenous

ACO provides

    • A detailed production schedule and optimal timeline created in collaboration with the partner orchestra’s administration
    • Facilitation of EarShot composer applications including: call for scores and active recruitment; receipt, acknowledgement, and processing of submitted materials; assembly and administration of review panel
    • Selection of mentor composers, in collaboration with orchestra’s artistic staff, to coach EarShot composers before and during the readings
    • A professional music engraver, to facilitate production of professional parts
    • Curriculum and panelist recommendations for professional development workshops
    • Marketing materials, including composer bios/images, EarShot logos and funding credits
    • Air travel for participant composers to/from the Readings

ACO accomplishes its work in collaboration with the League of American Orchestras, American Composers Forum, and New Music USA, each of whom assists with recruitment, publicity, and program design.

Partner Orchestras provides

    • 2 or more orchestral services
    • Conductor and venue for readings
    • Input from the partner orchestra’s Artistic Director and/or conductor on final composer selection
    • Lodging for 1-2 ACO staff, up to three mentor composers, and up to six participant composers
    • Catering for working meals
    • Venue space for all feedback sessions
    • Quality recording of at least one reading made available for each composer’s personal reference (in compliance with section VII.C. of the 2020 IMA)
    • Library support for preparation and dissemination of parts and scores; return of performance materials to each composer
    • Conductor and musician mentors for feedback and prep sessions
    • Press release about program and participant composers
    • Honoraria and travel for mentor composers
    • Copyist/engraver fees for final score and parts review
    • Score review fees for submission review panel
    • Honoraria and travel for Professional Development guest speakers
    • Commitment to commissioning one of the final participant composers for a future performance
    • Board and/or patron event in connection with readings
    • Onstage discussion and audience Q&A after the final reading/recording

Questions & Information

For questions, contact Aiden Feltkamp, Emerging Composers and Diversity Director: 212.977.8495 ext 252; or aiden@americancomposers.org

Our Mission & Vision

American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, pre-college and college education programs, and emerging composer professional development to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.

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