What IF…Call for Scores

I am excited to use my research on listeners’ connection with music to start the ‘What IF…’ Call for Scores. As founder of Innovative Flutist (IF), the question ‘what if I did…?’ sparks my work on curiosity and connecting with people and music. For this call, I am working to connect composers, performers, and listeners. I provide a “what if…” prompt based on my listener research to invite composers to write for flute repertoire of three skill levels.

Thank you for considering. I look forward to listening to and playing your music. Happy Creating!

James Brinkmann (he/him)


Deadline: August 31, 2022 at 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Notification: By September 30, 2022

No entry fee

Open to all composers

Performance, recordings, and $400 in prizes

Unaccompanied flute OR flute & piano

Application: https://forms.gle/yp3eDEUyYgtv4psw8 


Special thanks to Michigan State University’s Running Start Program

for a project grant to support these prizes.

Professional Flute Repertoire Winner: $200, premiere, recording of live performance

Intermediate Flute Repertoire Winner: $75, premiere, recording of live performance

Beginner Flute Repertoire Winner: $75, premiere, recording of live performance

Among All Submissions:

            Adult Flute Enthusiast Judge’s Choice:                            $25

            Music Listener Judge’s Choice:                                        $25

            At least 10 selected                                                          Premiere, recording of live performance


In 2021, I conducted research how listeners connected with flute music and represented it through writing and drawing. Unsurprisingly, many people associated the flute with birds; however, the flute has potential for different characters. This year’s prompt is:

What if the flute represented a character other than a bird?


Please note:

  1. Composers may submit one piece per category.

  2. Flutists of all ages play beginner and intermediate music.

  3. Extended techniques are not required and have no advantage or disadvantage. If using, consider the time needed to switch between extended techniques and regular playing. Please contact me if you have questions about using any techniques in a category. Refer to: https://www.emiferguson.com/flutes-extendedtechniques

Beginner Flute Music

Solo flute OR flute & piano

Length: 1 – 2 minutes

Range: F4 to C6

Key Signatures: Major (G, C, F, Bb)

                          Minor (g)

Time Signatures: 2/4, 3/4, 4/4

Extended Techniques: None

Intermediate Flute Music

Solo flute OR flute & piano

Length: 3 –  4 minutes

Range: D4 to F6

Key Signatures: Up to 3 sharps or 3 flats

Time Signatures: 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 3/8, 6/8

Extended Techniques: key clicks, tongue pizzicato (slap)

Professional Flute Music

Solo flute OR flute & piano

Length: 4 – 7 minutes

Range: B3 to B6

Key Signatures: Any

Time Signatures: Any

Extended Techniques: air sounds, flutter tonguing, harmonics, harmonic glass, jet whistle, singing and playing, timbral trill, tongue ram, tongue pizzicato (slap)

Application Process


  • Composers may submit one piece per category. Works submitted cannot have been or be in the process of being premiered.

  • Score and midi files must be ANONYMOUS with all identifying data removed from the content. Please test links to ensure your files can be viewed and downloaded. Label files as the following:​

    • Midi: mp3 or wav. Last Name, First Name, Midi. Example: (Brinkmann, James, Midi)

    • Score: PDF. Last Name, First Name, Score. Example: (Brinkmann, James, Score)


  • Notification: by September 30, 2022. If selected, I ask that you provide program notes, a bio, and headshot. They will be used for the announcement of winners, advertising of the concert, and in the recital program.

  • Monetary prizes will be disbursed via check or Venmo by November 2022.

  • The winner’s recital is tentatively planned for early Spring 2023 in Cook Recital Hall at Michigan State University. Composers are encouraged to attend but are not required.

Selection Committee

The relationship between a composer, performer, and listener is beautiful, complex, and vital. As an advocate for valuing and including performers of all levels and music listeners, I invite people of different experiences to be on the committee. The committee members who play flute will likely sightread the pieces.​​

2022-2023 Committee

  • Elise Blatchford        Associate Professor of Flute, University of Memphis Scheidt School of Music, TN

  • Gerardo Lopez         Adult Flute Enthusiast, Ph.D. Student in Music Theory, Ohio State University, OH

  • Ramona Fantini        Music Listener, Business Consultant, SC

  • James Brinkmann    Founder of Innovative Flutist, D.M.A. in Flute Performance, MI