Kaplan Commissioning Project

Saint Mary’s University Concert Band

Composer Opportunity:

The tenth Helen and Sam Kaplan Foundation Commission project for a new Concert Band composition written by a composer of Jewish heritage is outlined below. Any questions should be directed directly to Dr. Janet Heukeshoven, project coordinator, at jheukesh@smumn.edu.

Amount of Commission:

$10,000.00 plus travel/expense allowance for a campus residency.

Description of the Composition:

The composition must be based on Jewish melodic material, either folk or religious sources.

As a result of the COVID pandemic, a new type of band scoring has grown in popularity with school ensembles known as flexi-band scoring. Many composers have re-issued past compositions to be available in both traditional concert band scoring and flexi-band format.

This commission requires the composition be scored in both formats: traditional and 5-part flexible scoring. The appropriate difficulty level must be accessible for both high school bands and collegiate ensembles. (A grade 3-4 level of difficulty by current publisher standards.)

The composition should be approximately 5-7 minutes in length.

Expectations of the composer:

 The selected composer will interact with SMU band students regarding the composition. He/she will also be requested to attend the premier and present a lecture/seminar on the commissioned work and music composition in general. Past commissioned composers have spent multiple days in residency surrounding the premiere.

The composer will provide SMU a full score and one set of parts.

The composer retains all copyrights and will acknowledge SMU’s role in the commission of the composition upon future publication and/or distribution.

The SMU Concert Band will present the premier performance at a mutually agreed upon concert date during the 2022-23 academic year. The composer may conduct the premier performance if desired.

Past Commissioned Composers:

2000:               Steven Barnett Halleil: O Praise the Lord for concert band

2002:               Lee Kesselman: Let Peace Descend for choir and wind ensemble

2004:               Philip Rothman:  Departure Point for solo piano and wind ensemble

2006:               Judith Lang-Zaimont:Israeli Rhapsody for concert band

2008:               Marc Kibrick Bernstein: Ashkenazi Fathers for concert band and jazz combo (with soloist or soloists)

2010:               Paul Richards: If You Could Only See the Frog for concert band

2012:               Larry Bitinsky: Katanya for concert band and narrator

2015:               Steven Rosenhaus: Ayshet Chayil for concert band and baritone voice

2018:               David Avshalomov: Nigun Prophesy for concert band (w/optional choir)

Application process and deadlines:

Application deadline for the 2021 Commission is October 15th, 2021

            Interested composers of Jewish ethnicity must send the following:

  • Letter of introduction and intent
  • Resume/Vitae
  • Scores and recordings of two representative compositions, either electronically (pdf score files, mp3 recordings, sound cloud links, YouTube, etc.) or hard copies.

If printed materials are submitted composers must provide a SASE for return of materials.

Email all application documents to jheukesh@smumn.edu

Any printed scores/media should be sent to:

Dr. Janet Heukeshoven

Kaplan Commission Project Chair

Saint Mary’s University Music Department

700 Terrace Heights #58

Winona, MN 55987-1399

Scores submitted for consideration (representative compositions) need not be band compositions, but must demonstrate wind and percussion writing. Composers who have applied for the Kaplan/SMU Band Commission in the past are encouraged to re-apply, except for the most recently commissioned composer.

Application materials (unless return requested on any printed materials) will be kept in the Kaplan Commission Project Archives for study by SMU music students.

For additional information or if you have questions regarding this commission please contact Dr. Janet Heukeshoven at 507.457.1675 (office phone) or email at: jheukesh@smumn.edu.