The Ann Stookey Fund for New Music (“ASFNM”) today announced that it has awarded a $25,000 grant to underwrite the commissioning by a consortium of choral organizations of a new work by composer Gregory Spears.
The half-hour work for mixed voices and obbligato chamber ensemble will be performed by The Crossing and other choral organizations during their 2018-19 seasons.
Spears attended the Eastman School of Music, earned a master’s degree at Yale, and took his Ph.D. at Princeton. Of his recent work, The Wall Street Journal said, “Mr. Spears writes brilliantly for vocal ensembles.” The Philadelphia Inquirer said his “Requiem” bore “a modern sense of theatrical timing that keeps your ears on edge until the last note.”
More details on this year’s grantee can be found in our press release.
The board of directors of the Ann Stookey Fund for New Music, in consultation with the members of the advisory board, has decided to make important changes to the Fund’s commissioning process.
Effective immediately, the Fund will no longer conduct an open grant application process. Instead, the board has asked the members of the advisory board to work collaboratively to bring the Fund one or more new commissions to be considered for funding each year.
The funding – approximately $25,000 per year – will alternate between liturgical commissions in even-numbered years and secular/concert music projects in odd-numbered years.
The four members of the advisory board who are primarily focused on liturgical works will collaborate to propose new commissions in that genre, and the members of the advisory board who are primarily focused on secular and concert music will collaborate to propose works in that genre.
The Fund was created to promote the commissioning of new music, and in its first two years the Fund accepted applications on an open basis.
“While it has been rewarding to see so much interest in the Fund’s efforts, and some wonderful new work has been commissioned, the amount of work involved in an open application process simply became overwhelming for what is a small volunteer project,” said ASFNM chair Joe Waz. “This summer, I proposed to the advisory board members a new process – asking them to work together to bring to the board their collective recommendations for proposed commissions for works that their choral organizations will commit to perform. The advisory board reacted enthusiastically.
“This new process will permit the Fund to bring new quality works into the choral repertoire and will ensure multiple performances of each new work in the various regions of the country,” Waz continued. “I regret that the application process has to be changed, but I am confident that the new process will lead to a significant expansion of the repertoire which will benefit choral organizations worldwide.”
One or more new commissions will be announced on February 2, 2016.
On April 24, NOTUS: The Contemporary Vocal Ensemble of Indiana University premiered “Stravinsky Refracted,” a 15-minute work by the ensemble’s conductor Dominick DiOrio, in the Auer Concert Hall in the Simon Music Center at the University’s main campus in Bloomington. Video of the premiere performance is available here.
On May 16, I Cantori of Walla Walla University performed two versions of a new work by British composer Paul Ayres, of Abba Yitkadash Shemakh, a setting of the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic for choir with solo viola or clarinet.
Samples of the scores of the DiOrio and Ayres works, and excerpts of audio from their premiere performances, will be available here here.
The Ann Stookey Fund for New Music is pleased to announce its 2014/15 grant cycle to support commissions for new choral music.
The Fund intends to support two or more commissions in each funding cycle, with grants totaling $25-35,000 each year. In 2014, the Fund’s initial year, five commissioning grants were made.
The Fund accepts applications for support of both sacred and secular new music from professional, amateur, and academic choral organizations based in the U.S.
To be eligible for this cycle, an application must be complete as of 11:59pm Eastern Time on November 3, 2014. Extensions of time will not be granted.
Grants will be announced on February 2, 2015.
Please review the new FAQs before applying. They may be found at this website’s Apply For a Grant page.
When you are ready to begin your application, click on the “Apply for a Grant” button on the same page and obtain a password as directed. With this password, you can return to your online application and save all the information you have entered until the application is complete.
We are very excited by the interest that the choral community has shown in the Fund and we look forward to your application.
On Monday, June 16, at the opening Mass of the 2014 conference of the Association of Anglican Musicians, the choir of Saint Paul’s Parish K Street, Washington, D.C., conducted by Robert McCormick, performed the world premiere of “Wisdom and Knowledge,” a motet by Zachary Wadsworth. The commissioning of this work by St. Paul’s Parish for the opening of the AAM conference was made possible by the support of the Ann Stookey Fund for New Music. This marked the first world premiere of a work commissioned by the Fund. An audio sample of the performance will be posted soon.
Composer and conductor Craig Phillips, a member of the advisory board of the Ann Stookey Fund for New Music, has composed an anthem and a motet “in memory of Ann Stookey and as a gift to the Ann Stookey Fund for New Music.” Phillip’s setting of Genesis 1: 11-12 for SATB with organ is entitled “Let the earth bring forth grass,” and will have its debut at the choral service at All Saints’ Beverly Hills on October 6, 2013. Phillips’ setting of a verse by Hildegard von Bingen, an unaccompanied SATB motet entitled “O Viridissima Virga,” will debut at All Saints’ Advent Lessons and Carols service on December 1, 2013. Phillips chose both verses in recognition of Ann’s love of nature and gardens. Ann sang in All Saints’ choir from 2011-2012. “We appreciate Craig’s generosity and genius, and are so pleased that he has dedicated these two wonderful works to Ann,” said Fund chair Joe Waz.
The application period for grants in support of choral commissions will open soon. The Fund has posted FAQs to help choral institutions prepare for the application process. Click on “Apply for a Grant” to learn more.