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Saturday, February 23, 2019
at 10:00 AM

1900 S. First Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Free Event

Event Information

In partnership with New Music USA and Music Alive to promote the creation and performance of new music and the mentoring of composers, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra will host a Composers Institute.


10:00–11:00 AM: Orchestral Writing for the Harp. CUSO Principal Harpist Molly Madden will demonstrate the effective use of the harp in an orchestral setting and discusses notation issues that composers frequently encounter.

11:30 AM–12:30 PM LUNCH & DISCUSSION: Navigating the Conductor/Composer Relationship. Dr. Alltop and Dr. Garrop will host a talk on navigating the conductor/composer relationship, including how to approach a conductor with new music, how to communicate before and during rehearsals, and what conductors are looking for when perusing a new work by an unfamiliar composer. Lunch is provided free for all participants.

1:00–3:30 PM: Reading Session with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, open to the public. Dr. Alltop and CUSO will workshop 2–4 selected pieces by applicants. Dr. Alltop and Dr. Garrop will give feedback to the composers during the session. There will be a question and answer session for the audience to speak with composers, Dr. Alltop, and Dr. Garrop.

4:00–5:00 PM: Orchestral Writing for Percussion. CUSO Principals William Moersch (timpani) and Ricardo Flores (percussion) will demonstrate the effective use of the percussion section in an orchestral setting, as well as discuss notation issues that composers frequently encounter.


The Composers Institute is open to students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program (composition or performance students who compose), or composers who have graduated from such a program within the past two years, who are residents of Champaign-Urbana and the region that spans a 200-mile radius of Champaign, Illinois.

There is no fee to attend, nor any qualification or adjudication process for composers. To register, download the complete Music Alive Composers Institute Information and Registration Packet. Registrations must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 28, 2019. Enrollment is limited to a total of forty students for each day. Composers who register for both days will be given priority on a first-come, first-served basis. One-day registrations will then be accepted for any available spaces and processed in registration-date order.

Call for Scores—Reading Session Submissions

Composers who wish to participate in the Call for Scores may submit a piece to be considered for the Composers Institute Reading Session on Saturday, February 23. Entry guidelines and form are here: Music Alive Composers Institute Information and Registration Packet. The completed Reading Session Entry Form and Registration and the PDF of your full score must be received by 5:00 p.m. on December 3, 2018

All composers whose pieces are being workshopped in the Reading Session are required to attend both days of the Institute. Hotel accommodations will be provided for the two to four chosen composers whose works will be read. 

For more information, please visit: https://cusymphony.org/cuso-music-alive-composers-institute/

This event is associated with Stacy Garrop and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, a project sponsored by New Music USA.