Saturday, August 6, 2016


Today at, I encountered a CALL FOR SCORES from the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra.  

From what I read in the description/rules, in order to be COMPOSER OF THE YEAR 2017, this organization REQUIRES a composer to: 

1.  PAY for entry into the competition.  ($25)
2.  PROVIDE the printed scores to the orchestra FREE OF CHARGE  (printing + postage $250)
3.  GIVE UP  his or her premier WITHOUT BEING PAID for this work.  ($1,000 to $2,500)
4.  PAY for his or her transportation costs to Sioux City ($500 from NYC) 
5.  PAY FOR food costs while there. (5 DAYS $50 = $250)
6.  PROVIDE additional time BY GIVING lectures and talks to the community/college (a lecture will be anywhere from $75 to $100/lecture) —all WITHOUT PAY
7.  If the composer has to take time away from a PAYING job, the composer incurs additional loss of income.  Most young musicians I know are fighting for financial survival.   

In return, Sioux City Symphony Orchestra  promises that THE COMPOSER GETS a concert performance of HIS/HER work, transportation in Sioux City, publicity (which is billed alongside the publicity the organization is already doing to promote itself), and the right to be called COMPOSER OF THE YEAR in a city that is on the border between Iowa and Nebraska.   

The Sioux City Symphony Orchestra will sell TICKETS to the April 29th, 2017 concert featuring the work.  So they will GENERATE INCOME for their organization USING the work of the composer WITHOUT the burden of paying the composer.  This is OUTRAGEOUS.

How can this competition be a commitment to educate, develop and promote American composers as they claim?  Is this really how this organization wants to treat a young artist?

From my perspective, this competition is robbery --plundering of the creative --because this competition makes the organization look like it is preying on early career composers who are desperate for their work to be heard.  

How can 'new and upcoming' composers be 'new and upcoming' if the established music organizations do not invest in them with REAL MONEY instead of taking it from them? Why not instead ask for a corporate sponsorship so that the young artist can be treated like a respected artist and BE PAID?  

How can The Arts EVER be respected and considered valuable in our society if The Arts organizations THEMSELVES do not lead by example--with RESPECT and APPRECIATION for whom and what they claim is valuable?

1 comment:

Len Solomon said...

Highway Robbery! Rodney Dangerfield got more respect than these chiselers are handing out! LEN