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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New BandQuest Release: Steps Ahead by Michael Gandolfi

We are thrilled to announce our newest addition to BandQuest®, our music series for middle-level band: Steps Ahead by Michael Gandolfi. “Steps Ahead is a delightful piece with something interesting for every instrument in the ensemble. Each of its three sections addresses a kind of compositional technique – transposition, tutti (a 2-part homophonic section) and developing tutti (parts […]

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Rhythm, Melody, and Dissonance: Trevor Babb’s Guitar

By Michael Cyrs Close your eyes, turn out the lights, and listen to Trevor Babb’s “Septet.” Each guitar note paints a different color of a landscape in your dream. Dozens of other strings come in, and trees form around a pasture. After 90 seconds, the notes climb up the scale as the sun shines down […]

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New ChoralQuest Release: When I Sing by Rosephanye Powell

When I Sing by Rosephanye Powell for 3-part treble and piano with optional hand percussion We are thrilled to announce our newest addition to ChoralQuest®, our music series for middle-level choir: When I Sing by Rosephanye Powell. “Rosephayne Powell has done it again! Using an original text about the power of singing, this piece is […]

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M. Lamar: Bodylessness and History as Told through Genres

JFund Profile by Michael Cyrs “Genre-defying” and “experimental” are words that critics enjoy tossing around, especially when it comes to genre-mixing. However, in music, most genre-mixing is old news, and the terms only gesture at describing a diverse arrangement. Every once in awhile, though, someone earns the terms. M. Lamar’s records are shining examples that […]

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Letter from Steven Homestead, New ACF-Los Angeles President

I am humbled and excited to announce that as of September 1st, I begin my term as the next President of the American Composers Forum of Los Angeles. In addition, Alicia Byer begins serving as ACF-LA Secretary and Treasurer. She steps into this leadership position having most recently run ACF-LA’s music education program. We join […]

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Asuka Kakitani Conquers the Impossible Task of Representing Nature in Jazz

by Michael Cyrs Reality is rarely compartmentalized into the rigid structure of a three-minute pop song. Recalling the full beauty of a painting or a landscape can’t be related without losing the finer details. Longer compositions, it seems, make for music that’s most representative of mother nature. Japanese-born, Minnesota-based composer Asuka Kakitani was on the […]

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“Getting to know you . . .”

Submitted by Louisa Castner and Victor Zupanc The Healing and Hope through Song community residency has officially begun! During the last two weeks of June, we spent time with the Giving Voice Choruses in Minneapolis and St. Paul. This has marked the beginning of our yearlong residency with GVC. Chorus co-founders Marge Ostroushko and Mary […]

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Aleksandr Brusentsev’s Quest to Explore Perspectives of Music and Art

Written by Michael Cyrs   Even if it’s with someone unquestionably genuine, verbal communication is difficult to recall. Although one may remember the words that were spoken, there were feelings, objects, weather, and countless other subatomic details that were simultaneously present during conversation. The same goes for life events. Say you lost a job or […]

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2017 Champion of New Music Charles Amirkhanian

ACF President John Nuechterlein and ACF Board member Vivian Fung presented the 2017 Champion of New Music Award to Charles Amirkhanian, Executive and Artistic Director of the Other Minds Festival in San Francisco. The occasion was a concert on May 20, 2017 featuring the music of Lou Harrison to mark the centennial of his birth […]

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2017 McKnight Composer Fellows and Visiting Composers Announced

2017 McKnight Fellows and Visiting

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 55 applicants. In another McKnight funded […]

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Josh Hernandez-Camen’s Quest for Authenticity in Composition

A profile of a 2016 NextNotes finalist by Michael Cyrs A Google search of Ángel Jochi Hernandez-Camen (or Josh, as he prefers to be called) pulls up a small handful of sites. You’ll find a video of his masterful “Ancient Ruins,” a short bio from your esteemed Forum, and some scattered notes and performances. Go […]

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2017 NextNotes Showcase on June 24th 7:30pm at the Lab Theater

Facebook Event Page Join us for a night of new music by the winners of the NextNotes High School Composition Award program at the Lab Theater in Minneapolis, MN. Emceed by Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, you’ll get to know the future of new music and the young artists that create it. The diverse musical offerings will be […]

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

The American Composers Forum (ACF), in partnership with MakeMusic®, is proud to acknowledge the influential teachers of the 2017 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 […]

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Healing & Hope Through Song Composer and Poet Announced

The American Composers Forum is pleased to announce a new community residency program with Giving Voice Chorus (GVC), Giving Voice Initiative (GVI), and the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis. Composer Victor Zupanc and poet Louisa Castner will collaborate to create a new choral work to be premiered by GVC singers in spring 2018. This […]

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American Composers Forum and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble Announce Three Composers Selected for ACF CONNECT

ACF CONNECT Winners

Three composers have been selected as participants for the first annual ACF CONNECT program offered by the American Composers Forum (ACF) in partnership with the highly acclaimed Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (PNME). Long recognized for its world-class performances and commitment to new work beyond the premiere, PNME is a perfect match for the ACF CONNECT […]

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Now Accepting Submissions for NextNotes Season Four!

ACF is thrilled to announce the 4th Annual NextNotes® High School Composition Awards! NextNotes is a national program designed to nurture the next generation of creative voices in music composition – in any genre! The NextNotes® High School Composition Awards encourage and recognize the creativity of high school composers and awards outstanding talent with mentorship, scholarship funds and a performance of […]

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