RED NOTE New Music Festival Composition Workshop

The RED NOTE New Music Festival Composition Workshop will help composers widen their creative perspectives and hone their craft through open rehearsals with guest performers NOW Ensemble and Transient Canvas, and seminars with distinguished guest faculty composers Stacy Garrop and David Rakowski, as well as resident faculty composers Martha Horst, Roy Magnuson, Carl Schimmel, and Roger Zare.

Invited participants will each compose a 5 to 10-minute piece for one of the guest ensembles. Each composition will be carefully rehearsed during the Festival, and will be premiered at a formal concert. Each composer will receive a recording of his or her piece. Professors Garrop and Rakowski and the resident faculty composers will also attend rehearsals, offering comments and suggestions. Participants will discuss their compositional ideas, techniques, and aesthetics with the faculty and other fellows. In addition, each student composer will have the opportunity to meet with the faculty composers individually or as part of group lessons or masterclasses. Each day of the Festival culminates in an evening concert featuring contemporary music performed by the guest ensembles or members of the School of Music faculty.

Stacy Garrop, distinguished guest composer
David Rakowski, distinguished guest composer
Martha Horst
Roy Magnuson
Carl Schimmel
Roger Zare

Featured Performers
NOW Ensemble
Transient Canvas

Applicants must be graduate or undergraduate students in Spring 2020.

Dining and Housing
Dinners will be organized and paid for by the RED NOTE New Music Festival. Workshop participants will be responsible for their other meals, and for their own lodging. Normal, Illinois is a university town with many dining options within walking distance. RED NOTE will assist workshop participants in finding appropriate lodging; options range from staying with one of our student composers at no extra cost, to a room at the Marriott hotel for a discounted rate. We will facilitate room shares and transportation to reduce lodging costs.

$350 (due by October 31, 2019)

Refund Policy
We do not offer refunds for our workshop. All fees are non-refundable.

Special Undergraduate Opportunity
One space will be reserved for a deserving undergraduate composer enrolled at a college or university in any of the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, or Wisconsin. The selected composer will be granted full tuition to the program.


  • Submit an ANONYMOUS pdf AND audio file (mp3 or MIDI) of your best work for chamber ensemble via the Workshop webpage (
  • The submitted pdf and audio files must be free of names and identifying marks.
  • No application fee is required. However, please note that if you would like to submit your work in the Composition Competition you must submit it again separately via the Composition Competition link on the RED NOTE homepage.
  • SUBMISSION DEADLINE: October 1, 2019
  • 6-8 selected applicants will be notified by email by October 7, 2019.
  • The selected applicants must each compose a new work for NOW Ensemble (quintet or smaller) or Transient Canvas. Score and parts to the new composition must be received by Festival Director Roy Magnuson no later than January 3, 2020. Alternatively, if the composition submitted with your application has NOT received a previous performance, and is scored for a subset of the available instrumentation, you may request that this piece be rehearsed and premiered in lieu of a new composition.
  • Questions? Please contact Roy Magnuson (
1 Oct 2019