Composers’ Forum, 2017

Novi Cantori announces New Editions: A choral singers and composers’ forum on Friday and Saturday, April  7-8, 2017 in Westfield and Springfield, MA. This event is being supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Westfield State University, and Novi Cantori.

The composers invited to participate in this year’s forum are:

Joshua Loell, Steven Murray, Joshua Sparkman, Joseph Rubinstein, Lucy McKnight, Michael Bussewitz-Quarm, and Joshua Fishbein.

Background on the New Editions forum:

The goal of the New Editions forum is to explore works in progress, with the director and singers of Novi Cantori providing feedback to the composers present. The forum will conclude with a short concert/informance to premiere the composers’ new works.

This forum is aimed especially for advanced undergraduate, graduate, young and mid-career professional composers who value the opportunity to hear their music sung by an outstanding choir and receive input on their work and approach to composition.

Application process: 

maximum of 6 composers will be selected. These composers will be announced on the Novi Cantori website and in local publicity in greater Springfield, MA. Composers who submitted works for our Call for Scores (2014) and our first composers’ master class (2015) are eligible to participate.

To apply, composers should submit the following by email (preferred) or mail, for consideration:

1) A separate sheet with complete contact information (name/address/phone #/email address), short biography and works list

2) Examples of one or two choral works (compositions or arrangements) for SATB choir. They may be published or unpublished, accompanied or unaccompanied works, based on a sacred or secular text.  Each piece should:

·       be a fully legible score, with accompaniment (if applicable). If an unaccompanied piece, the scores should include a keyboard reduction of the vocal lines.

·       show proof of clearance to use text (if not in the public domain)

·       include a short statement (2-3 sentences) about the composer’s choice of text, concept of the piece, aspects that have come naturally in the process of writing, and areas of challenge

·       include an audio or midi recording (mp3 or CD) – not required but recommended

·       Scores should be submitted as PDFs (not as notation files).

3) The name and contact information (phone #/email) of a reference who can speak to the composer’s musicianship, skills in writing and responsiveness to critique in a master class setting

4) $25 application processing fee (by check or PayPal on the Novi Cantori website,

For full consideration, composers should submit materials by Dec. 1, 2016 to Dr. Ellen Gilson Voth, Artistic Director, at (preferred) or by mail to:

Novi Cantori, P.O. 39, Agawam, MA  01001. “Application for forum” should be in the email subject line or on the outside envelope.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.


Composers selected to participate will be asked to compose a piece specifically for the forum, based on a text provided to them by Novi Cantori. Composers will be notified of their selection on or before Dec. 31, 2016. Complete first drafts of compositions will be due on March 15, 2017, which will allow for rehearsal and feedback prior to the forum on April 7-8, 2017. Composers will have the opportunity to edit/print fresh drafts of their works before the forum’s concluding concert.

Participating composers must be able to travel to Westfield, MA to attend the forum (Friday evening through Saturday afternoon). Overnight housing (evening of April 7) will be provided in host homes.

For further questions, please contact Dr. Ellen Gilson Voth, Artistic Director at .

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