Q: When will the next ChoralQuest piece be published?
A: The American Composers Forum is working to raise money for the next ChoralQuest commission. Stay tuned, or click here to contribute.
Q: I’m doing a clinic session and plan to talk about the ChoralQuest series. Do you have materials I can use in my clinic?
A: Absolutely! Email or call us at (651) 251-2840 and we will try our best to get you what you need for any clinic or presentation including the ChoralQuest series.
Q: I want to talk to one of the ChoralQuest composers. Can you connect me?
A: Our policy at the American Composers Forum is to pass along your contact information to the composer so they can contact you. Most composers also have their own websites that include their email addresses or contact information for their publishers.
Q: I love new music and I want to commission a piece for my choir, but I’m afraid I can’t afford it. Do you have any advice?
A: It might not be as difficult or expensive as you might think to get your choir playing new music. There are a few options to consider.
First of all, not all composers write on commission. Some write music that is in their head regardless of whether they are getting paid. It might be that the piece you are looking for has already been written and just needs a band to play it. The American Composers Forum has an “Opportunities” listing where you could submit a request for scores from composers to see what music is already written for choir. Simply write up the guidelines of what kind of piece you are looking for and ACF will list it for free.
You could also utilize this service if you decide you’d like to commission a composer for your choir or for a consortium of choirs. Write up the guidelines for a piece that would like to commission and include the amount that you would be willing to pay. Every composer charges differently, but usually by minute, i.e.: a minute of music from an established composer would probably cost around $1000, but for a less-established composer it would cost much less. Include the length of the piece and amount you are willing to pay in your guidelines to be sure you attract composers that would be the right fit for you. Again, this service is free to you-just email us your guidelines and we will make sure it makes it to the Membership and Opportunities Manager.
We suggest you be as specific as possible in writing up your guidelines but try to remain open to the creative process of the composer. The more specific you can be with composers the better – that way they know what you’re looking for and you’ll find the best match for your needs. Sometimes, though, they come up with new ideas and ways of doing things that move beyond the original guidelines, which is all a natural part of the creative process.
At a session about commissioning at the 2007 Minnesota Music Educators Midwinter Conference, Dr. Andrew Boysen of the University of New Hampshire shared a strategy that he employs with his graduate composition students. Every year, Dr. Boysen selects a graduate student to write a piece for a local high school and gets paid $100. The school gets a new piece of music every year, the students have the opportunity to work with an emerging composer, and the composer gets their first commission to add to their resume. It’s a win-win-win situation!
Q: I have tons of money in my school budget! How can I partner with American Composers Forum to commission the next ChoralQuest piece? (Okay, so you can probably tell we made this one up. But it might happen someday!)
A: We would love to continue the ChoralQuest program with more commissions, curriculum for every piece in the series, and a more comprehensive website. As a non-profit organization, every penny we make from the sales goes back into the program. We have even talked about expanding the program into OrchestraQuest or StringQuest, but first let’s talk about ChoralQuest. We would love to work with you and your chorus-please call (651) 251-2840 or email us to discuss this possibility.
Q: I’m a composer-how can I get involved in ChoralQuest?
A: To be considered for a ChoralQuest work, please email us your contact information and biography. All composers are chosen by our advisory committee.
Q: If I use this curriculum in my classroom, do I have to do the ENTIRE thing for it to make sense to my students?
A: Not at all. We encourage you to leaf through the curriculum and choose the parts of it that work best for you and your students. Even if you don’t perform the piece, you can excerpt the lessons to teach composition, interdisciplinary activities, and other skill-builders. Consider it an a la carte free resource.
Q: Can you explain what the Facets Model is?
A: Each work – a musical composition, painting, poem, dance, or play – captures our imagination whenever we take the time to experience it from many different angles. These perspectives allow us to expand what we know about a work and to intensify our responses to it. Discovering the multidimensional characteristics of a musical work allows students to perform the new piece with understanding and value the work more deeply. Three music educators designed the Facets Model to promote the comprehensive study of a musical work and enhancement of students’ musical understanding and performance (Barrett, McCoy, & Veblen, 1997). To learn more about the Facets Model, download this PDF: FacetsModel
Q: I programmed a ChoralQuest piece but don’t see a curriculum available.
A: Every year, our curriculum writers work on the newest release in the series along with a piece in the series catalog that does not have resources associated with it. Please email us to ask about these pending resources, and we’ll do what we can to provide you with some classroom support!