News

Ann Stookey Fund for New Music Announces 2017 Commissioning Grant

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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.

Ann Stookey Fund for New Music Announces 2016 Commissioning Grants

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The Ann Stookey Fund for New Music (“ASFNM”) today announced that it has awarded grants totaling $16,000 to underwrite the commissioning of three new choral works.

The three new music projects are:

1. Notre Dame Vocale, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN: to commission a new cantata for 16 voices and nine instruments by Robert Kyr based on texts from Dante’s Divine Comedy, to premiere on October 8-9, 2016 at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at the University of Notre Dame “in the context of an interdisciplinary event dedicated to immersive and interactive experiences inspired by Dante’s masterpiece.”

2. Volti, San Francisco, CA: to commission new 8-10 minute works for SATB by Robert Paterson (“Graffiti Canons”) and Amy Beth Kirsten (“it is possible these things do not exist:”) as part of Volti’s “The Next Page” initiative, which re-commissions composers who have participated in Volti’s young composer workshop and residency program, the Choral Arts Laboratory (“CAL”). The new works are to be premiered during Volti’s 2015-16 season.

More details on this year’s grantees can be found in our press release.

IMPORTANT NEWS: ASFNM Makes Significant Changes to Commissioning Process

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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.

Newly Commissioned Works by DiOrio, Ayres Premiere

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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.

Ann Stookey Fund for New Music Announces Commissioning Grants for New Choral Works

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The Ann Stookey Fund for New Music (“ASFNM”) today announced that it has awarded grants totaling $25,250 to underwrite the commissioning of new music by three choral organizations.

“These three projects were selected from a field of three dozen applications, including a great many very interesting proposals from choral organizations across America,” said Joe Waz, ASFNM chair. “We are pleased to remember Ann’s love for choral music again this year by supporting new works that will engage artists and listeners in fresh and exciting ways.”

The three new music projects are:

1. The Crossing, Philadelphia, PA, “The Jeff Quartets,” a series of 15 three to five minute choral pieces by 15 composers (including Benjamin C.S. Boyle, Ërik Ešenvalds, Gabriel Jackson, Kile Smith, and others) whose lives were touched by The Crossing and its co-founder Jeffrey Dinsmore, who passed away in 2014, to premiere in summer 2016 in the final concert of The Crossing’s 10th anniversary season.

2. Cantus, Minneapolis, MN, a 4-6 minute choral work by composer David Lang on the topic of love, with original text crowdsourced with the help of Internet searches, to be included in Cantus’ 2015-16 touring program “The Four Loves.”

3. The Esoterics, Seattle, WA, the completion of a 30-minutes cycle by composer Joseph Gregorio of 11 “Prayers” by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet John Gould Fletcher, to premiere in 2017 as part of “a season of works that redefines the idea of the ‘sacred.’”

More details on this year’s grantees can be found in our press release.

The Fund intends to make two additional grants in February 2016 totaling approximately $15,000 to two additional choral organizations drawn from this year’s excellent pool of applications. In addition to those grants, the Fund will make up to $10,000 in grants for new liturgical works next February.

ASFNM Receives 36 Commissioning Grant Applications

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The Ann Stookey Fund’s second annual application cycle concluded on November 3. The Fund received a total of 36 substantially complete applications from choral organizations, more than double the number received last year. Fifteen states are represented, with more than a third of the applications coming from California. Applicants include established professional ensembles, volunteer and academic choirs, and church-related choirs, and the composers they seek to commission include some of the greatest names in modern choral music as well as diverse and rising talents. A number of the works include multidisciplinary elements, such as dance and video. The evaluation process has begun, and successful applicants will be announced on February 2, 2015. We appreciate the great interest in the Fund and look forward to lending our support to some wonderful new choral music.

“The Jazzman, His Wife, and the Persian Poet” to Premiere in NYC This Weekend

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On November 8 and 9, Cantori New York will premiere “The Jazzman, His Wife, and the Persian Poet,” a work commissioned from Dutch composer Jacques Bank. This is the second world premiere of a commissioned choral work produced with the support of the Fund. Saturday’s performance is at 8 p.m. at Park Avenue Christian Church, 1010 Park Avenue, New York. Sunday’s performance is at 3 p.m. at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson Street, New York. Ticket information at www.cantorinewyork.com.

Application Period for 2014/15 Grants Now Open, Deadline Nov. 3

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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.

First ASFNM-Funded Work Premieres: “Wisdom and Knowledge”

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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.

(L-R) Dale Adelmann, Craig Philips, Joe Waz, Zachary Hemenway, composer Zachary Wadsworth

(L-R) Dale Adelmann, Craig Philips, Joe Waz, Zachary Hemenway, composer Zachary Wadsworth

ASFNM Makes Five Choral Commissioning Grants In Its First Year

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The Ann Stookey Fund for New Music has announced that it has awarded grants totaling $36,400 to underwrite the commissioning of new music by five choral organizations.

“With the help of our distinguished advisory board, we have chosen five wonderful projects, representing a cross-section of the American choral community – professional, academic, and volunteer choirs, and music both secular and sacred, from coast to coast,” said Joe Waz, ASFNM chair. “We are very happy to launch our program with these grants, and to begin building a musical legacy that honors Ann’s memory.”

The grantees, and the composer each will commission, are as follows:

Seraphic Fire, Miami, FL, will commission a new work from composer Jake Runestad.

Cantori New York, New York City, will commission a new work from composer Jacques Bank.

NOTUS: the Indiana University Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Bloomington, IN, will commission a new work from composer Dominick DiOrio.

St. Paul’s Parish K Street, Washington, DC, will commission a new work from composer Zachary Wadsworth.

I Cantori of Walla Walla University, College Place, WA, will commission a new work from composer Paul Ayres.

More details on the grants and the works they will make possible can be found in our press release.

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