Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA
A new music utopia for composers and performers
The Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) is a 3-week musical utopia for innovative composers and performers in the beautiful Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts dedicated entirely to adventurous contemporary music. Composers will have their new works performed. Players will perform in ensembles alongside our faculty. The program includes daily performances in the museum galleries, and concludes with a three-day blow-out festival performed by fellows, faculty, and special guests. The program also features African and Latin music workshops, electronics and music business seminars, free events in the community, and more. Our FACULTY members are some of the most innovative musicians of our time. These are musicians who have dedicated their lives to commissioning, rehearsing, recording and performing music beyond the cutting edge. The program culminates in a 3-day blow out festival called LOUD Weekend. (Read the NYT review of the 2021 LOUD Weekend festival here.)
IMPORTANT INFORMATION for APPLICANTS
The 2023 Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA will take place from July 10-30, 2023. We welcome applicants from all over the globe who are at least 21 years old as of the first day of the program. Performance applicants, please note that you do not have to play an instrument included on our faculty to attend the program. Our focus is on chamber music, as opposed to individual instruction on an instrument.
Application fee is forty dollars ($40 USD), non-refundable, payable through Bang on a Can’s online store, link available on the online application.
Early bird – If you apply and complete your application before December 15, 2022, there is NO application fee! Use the code “BIRD.” (You still have to click “I have paid”)
If the application fee is a financial barrier for you, please contact Philippa at [email protected] for a waiver.
Application deadline — 5:00pm EST – Tuesday, January 10, 2023.
All applicants will be notified of the decisions by e-mail on or before February 28.
The participation fees for the 2023 Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival are $3750 tuition, $700 Room and Board (Total $4,450). Tuition assistance is available, see below.
For context on the participation fee – the current total cost per program participant is $9,750. Bang on a Can has raised funds to cover just over half of that amount, and will continue our efforts over the course of the season.
We are grateful to have received some generous funding enabling us to offer support to a limited number of participants with financial need. You will be instructed on how to request assistance upon acceptance to the program.
Tuition support is provided by:
ASCAP Foundation provides tuition support for eligible composers (members of ASCAP or unaffiliated). The amount varies depending on the number of eligible composers.
Through his “Bass Scholarship,” Robert Black offers $1500 of tuition assistance for one bass player each year.
Art Music Denmark offers a full scholarship for one musician each summer. The musician must either live in Denmark or be a Danish Citizen.
We also receive general tuition support from the Valerie Dillon and Daniel Lewis Fund and from the Williamson Foundation for Music.
We also highly encourage you to seek your own sources of support from foundations and government sources, crowd funding, and/or your university (if you are a student or recent alum). Bang on a Can will be happy to provide any letters or other documentation to support your efforts.
Additionally, composers will receive a commissioning fee from the Justus and Elizabeth Schlichting (amount TBA) for their new works to be written for the festival.
Room and Board — Accommodations for the Festival are within walking distance to the museum. Accommodations are double occupancy.
Lunch and dinner are provided Mon-Fri. Participants are responsible for all other meals, including breakfasts daily and weekend meals. There are several local inexpensive eateries near the museum.
All participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from MASS MoCA, which is in the city of North Adams in Western Massachusetts (Berkshire County). Information about transportation will be provided.
A non-refundable deposit of $500 is due within two weeks upon acceptance to the program. Payment in full is due on June 15.
Covid safety: Covid-19 vaccinations will be required for all participants. We will be following the CDC guidelines in place as of July 10, 2023 as far as masking, social distancing and testing, as well as following protocols set by our hosts at MASS MoCA.
If you have any questions regarding the information on this sheet or general questions about the festival, please send an email to Philippa Thompson, Festival Manager: [email protected].
WORK SAMPLE REQUIREMENTS
Note: If you plan to submit application materials as both a composer and a performer, you will submit two separate applications. Please read the notice at the bottom of this page.*
- Audio recordings and/or PDFs of scores (if applicable) of three of your recent pieces.
- Also include a list of your works as a PDF or word document. Include instrumentation and length of each piece.
- Please note that if accepted, you will be asked to compose a new, six-minute piece to be rehearsed and performed at the Festival. You will be notified in mid-March of the instrumentation you will be composing for, and we must have the new work in our office two months later (mid-May). This time-frame is important, because we need to send music to the performers with enough preparation time.
- Audio or video recordings of at least three unedited pieces. Please include information about each work sample (composer, title, and instrumentation) in the space provided on the application. We encourage you to submit:
- A solo piece from the standard solo repertoire of your instrument – it can be accompanied or unaccompanied. (Wind applicants: accompanied solo piece is preferred)
- A solo piece from the contemporary repertoire
- Chamber music example(s) of your choice, ideally contemporary chamber music.
- Guitar applicants: please include at least two work samples on electric guitar – one solo piece and one ensemble piece, preferably from the contemporary repertoire.
- Video footage for at least one piece that is a solo or duo performance. (If either solo work sample from the list above is on video, that is sufficient.) Video footage from a computer, tablet, or phone camera is perfectly acceptable.
- Also please include a repertoire list from the past 5 years, including music from any era/style, in PDF or word format, divided into the following categories:
- Solo work performed and/or studied
- Small chamber works performed and/or studied
- Conducted small and/or larger ensemble works (not including symphonic works).
As a separate section at the end of the document, feel free to include a “wish list” of small chamber works you may like to perform at the Festival.
- Optional: please send an informal “video introduction” and tell us a little bit about yourself, your music-making, and anything else you think it would be interesting for us to know.
- Optional: if you have video or audio samples of non-“new music” performances please include as a bonus track(s). We’d be delighted to listen to other representations of your musical self.
Note: All audio and video will be kept private, to be viewed only by Bang on a Can faculty and administration.
* If you would like to apply as both a composer and a performer, you must submit a separate application for each category, paying the application fee only once. To learn how to submit your second application, and to make arrangements for waiving the second application fee, send an email to the festival manager, Philippa Thompson: [email protected].
If you apply as both a composer and performer, please note you will be accepted as EITHER a composer or performer. There are opportunities to do both at the festival, but your role will be primarily one or the other.