The Waterloo Region Contemporary Music Sessions

The Waterloo Region Contemporary Music Sessions is a 9-day session for composers, performers, and improvisers, held in Waterloo, ON. This year’s WRCMS will take place from July 29 to August 8, 2018.

The Waterloo Region Contemporary Music Sessions (WRCMS) is a 9-day series of workshops, concerts, panels, reading sessions, and activities designed to promote and provide opportunities for emerging and early career Canadian and international performers, improvisers, and composers of contemporary music. Our all-Canadian roster of acclaimed early career guest artists and ensembles will be performing in diverse venues all across the Waterloo region (a major hub of artistic activity in Ontario), and will also be providing mentorship, coaching, and workshops throughout the week to selected applicants chosen to participate in WRCMS 2018.

Highlights of the 2018 edition of WRCMS include:

Mentorship with Guest Artists, including:

  • Private lessons and masterclasses/forums in performance, improvisation, and composition (including electroacoustic/acousmatic composition).
  • Open rehearsal coaching.

Workshops on topics such as:

  • Identity and new music
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Community-building
  • Professional development

Readings for composers selected as part of our Call for Scores, Guest Artist concerts throughout the week, including:

  • Premieres by participants an improvisation night at a local brewery.
  • Montreal’s Ensemble Paramirabo presenting a program of works by guest artists and premiering works by WRCMS participants as part of our Call for Scores.
  • Toronto’s Chelsea Shanoff performing a program of solo sax works, including WRCMS premieres of works as part of our Call for Scores.
  • Concerts featuring 2017 Contemporary Performance Prize winners An-Laurence Higgins, Colin Frank, Malina Rauschenfels, and Sara Constant.

If Accepted:

  1. There is a fee* to be paid upon acceptance (your notice of acceptance will include payment options). We are pleased to be offering two different fee packages this year. This fee includes:
    • Package 1 “play on”: $250
      - access to all workshops, concerts, and events
      - access to one-on-one mentorship with our guest artists
      - a studio recording of your playing/composition, which will be released on a digital album and distributed to various broadcasters
      - lunch throughout the session
      - lodgings are not included
    • Package 2 “all-in”: $425
      - all of the above, plus lodgings in a single-occupancy room in one of WLU’s residence buildings.
  2. Participants in the composition stream will write a piece to be played by performance and/or improvisation participants at the final participant concert. Composers will receive ensemble assignments after all participant acceptances have been confirmed. Performers(/improvisers if applicable) will receive sheet music on June 22, 2018, to prepare for workshopping during the week of July 29 – August 7, 2018. WRCMS will connect paired artists, and help establish initial consultation regarding the work. The premières composed for WRCMS will be recorded as described above.
  3. *We do not want this fee to be a barrier for low-income applicants. Please contact us if this is a barrier to you, and we will discuss possibilities.

Please see our website for all details:

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding accessibility, dietary needs, or the nature of WRCMS, please email us at We also offer correspondence in French, Polish, Serbian, Russian, and Spanish.

15 Feb 2018