Commission Competition

In honor of Jessie S. Yee, an avid supporter of the arts, Gordon Yee and the Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts are pleased to announce the first annual Yee Commission competition.

Each year, the commission will feature a different ensemble and theme. For the inaugural commission, an ensemble of Virginia Tech Music faculty will premiere and studio record the new work and the theme will be grief.

Any composer, except those affiliated with Virginia Tech, is eligible and all styles of music are welcome.

The commission is $3,000 to compose a new work for the following ensemble:

  • Ariana Wyatt, voice
  • Betsy Crone, flute
  • Yevgeny Dokshansky, clarinet
  • Kyle Hutchins, saxophone
  • John Irrera, violin
  • Molly Wilkens-Reed, viola
  • Alan Weinstein, cello
  • Annie Stevens, percussion
  • Hsiang Tu, piano
  • Derek Shapiro, director

The piece must be composed for the full ensemble and can include electroacoustic music. Up to 134.2 channel spatial audio is available for fixed media and the composer is welcome, or Charles Nichols is available, to perform a live electroacoustic part. The ensemble will premiere and studio record the new work, during the 2021-22 concert season.

At the time of the premiere, the Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts will host the winning composer for a residency, during which they will present their work in a seminar, critique student compositions in a masterclass, and adjudicate student compositions, along with the composition faculty, for the annual Yee Awards student competition.

To apply for the commission, each composer should submit one PDF score and one matching MP3 or WAV audio recording of a composition that demonstrates their ability to compose for the ensemble, along with a description of the proposed composition. Information and files must be submitted at, by February 1, 2021 at 11:59 pm Eastern Time.

Compositions will be adjudicated by a diverse panel of Virginia Tech faculty composers and performers and guest musicians.

Contact Charles Nichols at with any questions.