Composers

CoMA provides opportunities for composers at all levels from first time amateur composers, through student and emerging composers, to established professionals.

Calls for pieces

All our calls for pieces are part of our Open Score project, providing artistically challenging yet technical accessible works for flexible ensembles including amateur players. Submissions are welcome from composers of any age and nationality. Selected works will be available for performance by CoMA ensembles and included in the CoMA  Music Catalogue which will promote them worldwide.

In addition to calls related to specific events, each year we issue a number of calls for pieces associated with the CoMA Summer School. Works submitted provide material for workshops and composers attending Summer School receive feedback from composition tutors and professional performers.

Current Calls

Partsongs

This is an ongoing call for pieces. All works submitted are assessed by a panel headed by James Weeks, the project’s artistic director.  Works of particular merit will be promoted through CoMA’s online music portal and in performance by CoMA Singers. Outstanding works will be considered to sit alongside commissioned works in forthcoming CoMA Partsong publications.

The Partsong Project

The Partsong Project is central to CoMA’s aims, responding to a need to create a repertoire of flexible pieces for multiple (but solo) voices. The paradigm of a small group of people singing together – the chanson, the madrigal, the partsong – is one of the most archetypal in Western music, yet little contemporary repertoire exists in this form for amateur or non-specialist singers.

The project sets out to create a repertoire that addresses this lack. Although described as ‘partsongs’, we are not seeking backward-looking pieces, but instead are wish to cultivate new repertoire that is absolutely 21st-century in spirit.

We believe there is a real need for this repertoire and the possibilities it offers to make a real impact on amateur, student and even professional music-making. We see many contexts in which really high-quality work of this nature will flourish, from campus to concert hall and as such, the CoMA Partsong collection aims to be the catalyst for an entirely new vocal scene to emerge.

The Brief

Specifically, submissions should be 3-5 minutes in length for 3-6 voice parts in Open Scoring. We are looking for fresh, exploratory, experimental approaches to the vocal medium (not a traditional-style partsong) and welcome non-conventional notation, unusual vocal techniques, speech, movement, auxiliary instruments etc.

Open Scoring means that the pieces should be non-specific with regard to voice-part, and therefore suitable for any group of voices available: male/female division is acceptable if necessary, but nothing more specific.

Bear in mind that voices may or may not be trained, and reading ability may or may not be strong: successful pieces will cater for the wide range of abilities and experience within CoMA and beyond.

Submitting works

Full instructions are provided on the submission form

Partsong submission formdocx

if you have any questions, please contact library@coma.org.

Recent Calls

Selected pieces from recent calls were performed at Kings Place, London on Saturday 5 March 2016 as part of the Festival of Contemporary Music for All. Works for Open Score ensemble were performed by CoMA London Ensemble (conductor Gregory Rose) and Philip Cashian, Head of Composition a Royal Academy of Music, commented on the pieces. Works for flexible trio were performed by a professional ensemble comprised of Rebecca Lenton (flute), Aisha Orazbayeva (violin) and Sophie Harris (cello) and Philip Cashian provided a commentary on the compositions.

In 2015 there were five calls for pieces associated with the CoMA Summer School: Percussion duo & Open Score ensemble, Partsongs, Voice & cello, Recorder ensemble and mixed ability cello ensemble.

Writing for CoMA

Works written for Open Score are flexibly-scored which means that the parts are not instrument-specific; instead, the composer specifies the range of the instruments (for example, high, medium and low) and it is up to each ensemble to distribute the parts to suitable players. Instrumental parts are provided in a range of transpositions.

Writing for CoMA - by Diana Burrell, Open Score Astistic Director 2004pdf
Open Score - by Howard Jones, Open Score Artistic Director 2012pdf
Writing for Open Score ensembles - guidelines and requirementspdf

Courses

CoMA provides opportunities for composers at all levels to develop their skills at the Summer School and the Midwinter Composers Course.