Composers Workshop Applications for Nief-Norf Summer Festival 2019 Are Open

The Nief-Norf Summer Festival (nnSF) Performance, Composition, Composer-Performer, and Music Technology Workshops invite applications from all instrumentalists, vocalists, and composers over the age of 18 (including undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and professionals). The summer festival will bring this generation's brightest, most promising composers, performers, and scholars together in the state-of-the-art University of Tennessee music facilities from June 10–24, 2019.

    Nief-Norf recognizes that our field is challenged to overcome a complex web of inequities – racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, and ableism among them. Our current priority is striving toward equity in nnSF acceptances for ALAANA, women, and non-binary artists, composers, and scholars.

The Composition Workshop: The composition workshop offers an intensive experience in chamber music composition, and currently invites applications from composers age 18 and over (including undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and professionals). Offered concurrently with the Performance Workshop, Music Technology Workshop, and Research Summit, the Composition Workshop provides fellows extensive interaction with the faculty, guest composers, and artists, as well as opportunities for hands-on exploration of the large variety of percussion instruments available during the festival.

Composition fellows will compose one work for 2-6 musicians under the mentorship of composition faculty Christopher Adler and 2019 guest composers Sarah Kirkland Snider and Alexandre Lunsqui, and will work with the performance fellows and faculty on the preparation of their work for performance during the festival. Composers will write for chamber ensemble, percussion ensemble or percussion in combination with other instruments, based on availability. Close interaction with performers will be invaluable for those seeking to gain experience in writing for specific instruments, while more experienced composers will benefit from the relationships built with dedicated performers of contemporary music. The workshop will admit up to ten composition fellows who will be present for the entire festival.

This year we are introducing a new Composer-Performer option for composer applicants, open to composer-instrumentalists and composer-vocalists. Composer-Performer fellows will be expected to include themselves as a performer in their composition and will fully participate in the rehearsal process and performance of their work. In addition, Composer-Performer fellows will be assigned 2-3 additional chamber works to be performed with Performance Fellows during the festival. We are committed to providing individual meetings with all composition faculty, however rehearsal scheduling may prevent Composer-Performer fellows from participating in some other activities of the Composition Workshop. Composers who wish to perform in their own piece but not perform any additional repertoire should apply only as a Composer.

Application Guidelines: Applications for the Composition Workshop open on October 1, 2018. Applications will be reviewed and admission status letters will be distributed within the week following your application. To apply, fill out the Composition Workshop Application. In addition to your educational background, you will need to upload the following when prompted:

A current headshot for use in website and promotional media.
A brief video statement introducing yourself and describing your experience with contemporary music up to this point, why you have chosen to apply to the Nief-Norf Summer Festival, and what you hope to gain from the experience. Statements should be uploaded using a streaming service such as YouTube or Vimeo, and not exceed three minutes in length.
Two scores (PDFs) and recordings (optional) representing what you feel is your strongest work.
A statement of interest describing the piece you would like to compose for the festival, including some ideas for instrumentation. The final instrumentation will be determined by the Composition Workshop Director based on availability.
A bio or CV surveying your experience in composition.
A non-refundable fifty dollar ($50 USD) application fee is required to finalize the submission. Please scan any hand-written materials, and host your audio files through an online streaming service (YouTube, Soundcloud, etc.), providing the URL when prompted in the application. Keep in mind you can save your progress as you go - no need to do it all at once! Please check your Acceptd message inbox for updates on your application status and other festival communication.

Tuition & Fees: The tuition for the 2019 Nief-Norf Summer Festival is two thousand four hundred dollars ($2400 USD), which includes room & board for facilities on campus. There are numerous ways to lower festival costs by applying by the priority deadline, commuting, changing meal plans, or taking advantage of our referral program. A non-refundable down payment of six hundred dollars ($600 USD) is due two weeks following formal acceptance to the festival. This down payment is required to reserve a position in the festival for accepted applicants. In the event of an absent down payment, the festival reserves the right to move to the next waitlisted applicant. Please email if you need more finance options. For more information visit

1 Apr 2019
U.S. Dollar (USD)