C4 January 2014 Newsletter
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2014 C4 Commissioning Competition:

Deadline for Submissions is February 1, 2014
The application deadline for our 2014 C4 Commissioning Competition is coming up on February 1st!  This year’s incarnation of the competition will give three winners the opportunity to compose new works for C4, to receive prizes of $1,500, $1,000 and $600, and to join us in New York for the world premieres of their works on our March 2015 shows. 

Composers Eric Banks (above left), James Bassi (above right), and Aaron Jay Kernis (above center) have the challenging task of selecting the three finalists and, ultimately, the prizewinners of this year's Commissioning Competition. We've checked in with our distinguished panel of judges to find out why they’ve come on board as judges for C4, and what makes this competition such a special event.

Banks tells us, “I am thrilled to be part of the jury for C4’s Commissioning Competition… I look forward to poring through the scores, and discovering the innovation that these new voices will bring to my favorite medium."

We asked Kernis and Bassi,
“Why C4?”

Bassi answers: “C4 is unique in committing exclusively to music written within the last 25 years by living American composers. The focus of these criteria may seem narrowing on the surface, but in truth the yield is one of great eclectic variety and richness -- a kind of microcosm of our living national culture. I have been associated with C4 in a number of ways since their early days: as a composer, rehearsal pianist. and most recently as producer of their debut CD. These people are a part ot my musical family. In support of their splendid ongoing work -- creating and performing new American choral music -- I also serve as a judge on their composition contest panels. C4 is ever in search of authentic, well-crafted, idiomatic works to introduce to the world. Their commitment to this search is of great importance to our musical and artistic communities, and I am proud to be of service.”

Kernis echoes Bassi’s enthusiasm, “I feel C4 is truly unique — a real collective of composer-performers supporting the work of their peers and expanding the reach and repertoire of choral music.  My choral training was integral to my beginnings as a composer, and I believe that C4's mission is vital.  I can't help but get excited about what great possibilities for expression there are in this field!”

With so many possibilities arising among the various works submitted for the Competition, where does one begin?  Kernis aims “to evaluate each work on its own merits, without a sense of a overarching gold standard. But it's important to first get a sense of the entire group of applicants so that the various skill and inspiration levels can be ascertained.”  He adds, “I look first for clarity of notation and comprehensibility for the performers. Following that, I try not to come at any work with a sense of what it should be before I begin, but most importantly try to realize quickly what the work itself is trying to communicate.”

Bassi takes a similar approach: “In any new work, I look for real vocal and choral writing. No matter what level of musical challenges are presented, the music must be idiomatically written – that is, well-written for the human voice. This, I must stress, has nothing to do with harmonic/melodic language or any particular style choices. Of equal importance is the sensitivity the composer demonstrates with the use of text (assuming the presence of one): how he/she deals with the parameters of language and syntax, as well as the ability to evoke deeper levels of meaning, literal or abstract, brought forth by the music.”

All of us at C4, along with Eric Banks, James Bassi, and Aaron Jay Kernis, look forward to receiving your new choral works.

Applications are due by February 1, 2014.

The competition guidelines and submission information are available HERE.  Please help us spread the word, and tell your composer friends about this opportunity!


     Annual Appeal Update                 
We at C4 would like to thank each and every one of you who has contributed to our 2013-2014 Annual Appeal.  Thanks to you, we’ve raised over $5,000 so far!

Even with so many generous supporters, we’re only just over halfway toward our goal.  

If you’ve already given, thank you!  If you haven’t yet made a contribution in support of C4, we invite you to do so by visiting our
“Support C4” page. 
Copyright © *|2014|* *|C4: THE CHORAL COMPOSER / CONDUCTOR COLLECTIVE |*, All rights reserved.

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