JFund Awardee Martin Nevin and the Inexpressible Merits of Solitude

Written by Michael J. Cyrs “Certain things for me are very hard to express with words,” explains JFund awardee and bassist Martin Nevin. His new record, Tenderness is Silent, deals with this problem. Apart from the classic jazz hall sound of the record, titles like “Grasp at Nothing” and “I See It Feelingly” are the […]

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Composers Selected for 2018 ACF | Create Program

2018 ACF Create Winners

SAINT PAUL, MN – The American Composers Forum is pleased to announce the results of the ACF | Create program (formerly JFund – Jerome Fund for New Music). With funding from the Jerome Foundation, the American Composers Forum now in its 40th year of commissioning and supporting the production of new works by early career composers […]

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Joel Mellin and the Intersection of Human Sensory Experience

Written by Michael J. Cyrs On Björk’s audiovisual LP Biophilia, the Icelandic singer wore numerous musical hats. Although the most notable takeaway from the record is her masterful voice, it’s often the expertise of her collaborators that drives the songs. Featuring everything from hang drum to full dubstep breakdowns, there seemed to be no musical […]

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Louisa Castner and Victor Zupanc Complete a Remarkable Residency

We are proud to share national recognition for Love Never Forgets, new choral music by Louisa Castner and Victor Zupanc, commissioned through an ACF community residency program in Minnesota. This 18-month project with Giving Voice and MacPhail Center for Music set out to boldly defy conventional wisdom that people with Alzheimer’s can’t learn new things, […]

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BandQuest New Release: Pop! by Tawnie Olson

We are thrilled to announce our newest addition to BandQuest®, our music series for middle-level band: Grade 3 Pop! by Tawnie Olson!   “Pop! is a delightful musical journey for the players and the audience. This artistically constructed exercise in acceleration, tension, crescendo and their oppositional counterparts begins with melodic fragments that gradually combine to reveal the […]

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Metal Aether by JFund Awardee Lea Bertucci Is One of the Most Compelling Experimental Records of the Year

Lea Bertucci (Queens, NY)

by Michael J. Cyrs The setting: A concrete WWII-era bunker. The studio: Abandoned corridors of metal and empty space. The instrument: An old silver alto saxophone. These aren’t the average constraints you’d encounter when recording music, but JFund awardee Lea Bertucci isn’t an average composer. “I am more interested in creating architecture and physical spaces […]

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2018 McKnight Composer Fellows and McKnight Visiting Composers Announced

The American Composers Forum (ACF) today announced the recipients of this year’s McKnight Fellowships for Composers, funded by the McKnight Foundation. These awards, which include $25,000 in unrestricted funds for each recipient, acknowledge excellence in the field of music composition. The four fellows were chosen from a pool of 50 applicants. In another McKnight funded […]

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BandQuest’s Upcoming World Premiere of Pop! by Tawnie Olson

While the school year kicks into overdrive with end-of-year activities, students in Susan Oakley’s band class will have a rare opportunity: they will perform the world-premiere performance of a new work by composer Tawnie Olson. The piece, Pop!, was commissioned by the American Composers Forum as part of their BandQuest® series. The series is designed to […]

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Winners of the NextNotes High School Composition Awards Nominate Educators for Recognition

The American Composers Forum, in partnership with MakeMusic®, is proud to acknowledge the influential teachers of the 2018 NextNotes® High School Composition Awards winners. NextNotes is a national program designed to nurture the next generation of creative voices in music composition regardless of musical style. The following winners were selected for their compositional skills and […]

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Composer Spotlight: Louisa Castner & Victor Zupanc Create “Love Never Forgets”

A jubilant celebration of the power of singing together, “Love Never Forgets” illustrates that life with Alzheimer’s can include personal creativity and contribution to community. This inspiring world premiere concert features the first-ever choral work illuminating life with Alzheimer’s – written with and performed by people with the disease and their caregivers. They share their […]

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JFund Awardee Leaha Maria Villareal on Collaborative Relationships

Written by Michael Cyrs. There are perks to playing music as a group. On top of taking cues and performing, you learn fundamental relationship lessons. Remember how you’d sulk about how horrible your college roommate was at doing the dishes, only to realize later on that you hadn’t once cleaned the bathroom the whole time […]

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American Composers Forum Announces Winners of the NextNotes High School Composition Awards

The American Composers Forum (ACF) is thrilled to announce the winners of the fourth annual NextNotes® High School Composition Awards. NextNotes is a national program designed to nurture the next generation of creative voices in music composition regardless of musical style. Awards encourage and recognize the creative and talented composers with mentorship, scholarship funds, and […]

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Jelloslave (aka Purple Orange) to Perform Works by Winners of the 2018 American Composers Forum Showcase

2018 ACF Showcase Winners

Jelloslave (aka Purple Orange), hailed by Rebecca Lang of the Star Tribune as “…an infectious, mysterious melee of genres.” partners with the American Composers Forum to present three works by the winners of the 2018 ACF Showcase national competition on Saturday, June 2 at the Open Eye Figure Theatre in Minneapolis, MN. Composers Robin Holcomb (Seattle, […]

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JFund Awardee Joseph C. Phillips and Genre Fluidity

Written by Michael J. Cyrs. “America is a great place. But it’s also not so great. You can have those two happen at the same time, and that’s a beautiful thing,” says 2016 JFund awardee Joseph C. Phillips as he walks his Alaskan Malamute through Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. He doesn’t compose for his Numinous project […]

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Congratulations to BandQuest & ChoralQuest Curriculum Writer Joanna Cortright!

  Our sincerest congratulations goes out to Joanna Cortright who is being inducted into the Minnesota Music Educators Association Hall of Fame for her significant career contributions to music education in Minnesota and beyond! Joanna is a founding consultant and curriculum writer for our BandQuest and ChoralQuest programs, and we’re incredibly grateful for her years […]

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Heath Mathews: Harmonies and Hendrix

  by Tim Hansen   2012 JFund recipient Heath Mathews draws from a broad palette in the creation of his work. Throughout his youth he played guitar in rock and jazz groups, and upon moving into the more cerebral world of academic composition, had no qualms about drawing from his pop culture background. “The experiences […]

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Jodie Blackshaw on BandQuest’s Letter from Sado

Jodie Blackshaw

BandQuest composer Jodie Blackshaw recently wrote about composing with music concepts during rehearsal using her piece Letter from Sado. As Jodie puts it, “Letter from Sado was commissioned as part of the BandQuest series in 2014. Since then it has received hundreds of unique performance around the world – but many Directors are still frightened to […]

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Adventures at Midwest Clinic

Last month, Laura Krider, Director of Education, and Patrick Marschke, Memberships Manager, attended the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, IL to connect with educators, conductors, and performers about BandQuest, our band series for middle-level learners. The Midwest Clinic International Band, Orchestra and Music Conference is an annual four-day music band and orchestra conference. For over 70 years, musicians, educators […]

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NextNotes High School Composition Awards Partners with Noteflight

NextNotes High School Composition Awards is partnering with Noteflight to provide Noteflight Premium for free for all applicants! Regardless if students write down their music or not, we want every student entering NextNotes to be able to explore professional-level music notation software. This is on top of the free American Composers Forum membership that students […]

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JFund Awardee Brian Mark: Experience History As It Happens

by Michael Cyrs “I love the art of film music, but I’m not at all into defining labels when it comes to one being a concert or film composer,” explains JFund awardee Brian Mark about some of his recent work. Although he studied film extensively, he’s more of a historical realist. Mark wasn’t yet born […]

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Composer Judd Greenstein Commissioned to Write New Piece for Great Falls Middle School Choir

ACF is thrilled to announce that composer Judd Greenstein has been selected as the 2017-2018 ChoralQuest® composer. Greenstein will work with choir director Kayla Roth at Great Falls Middle School in Montague, MA. Great Falls was selected to host the residency due to its talented leadership and program excellence. Greenstein expressed, “I look forward to […]

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