Beyond The Notes is expanding the ComMission Possible Project to now include Band, Choir, and Orchestra! The goal of the project is to place students at the origins of creativity by having them interact with professional composers while learning more about their own creativity. The project will commission three composers to write new works for middle school band, choir, and string orchestra (approx. grade 2.5). Students will have the opportunity to explore their own creativity while suggesting conceptual ideas to the composer.
What Will Participating Groups Receive?
A curriculum and lesson materials that will lead your students through creative experiences/activities ultimately resulting in them developing a concept for the new composition. A panel of adjudicators will select the top 15 ideas submitted by participating schools for the composer to consider.
Three videos from the composer during different steps of the process. The composer will share initial steps, the concept of the work, answers to student questions, and the final product with rehearsal and performance tips.
Digital copies of the new composition to use with your ensemble.
The name of your school and the music teacher will be listed in the score.
The opportunity to apply to host the composer for a residency and perform the official world-premiere of the new work! If your school is selected, BTN will help defray the costs associated for this amazing experience.
Groups not selected as the world-premiere ensemble will have rights to label their performance as a "Regional Premiere".
Who Are The Three Composers?
Brian Balmages (Band)
Brian Balmages is known worldwide as a composer and conductor who equally spans the worlds of orchestral, band, and chamber music. His music has been performed by groups ranging from professional symphony orchestras to elementary schools in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Sydney Opera House, Toronto Centre for the Arts, and many more. He is a recipient of the A. Austin Harding Award from the American School Band Directors Association, won the 2020 NBA William D. Revelli Composition Contest with his work Love and Light, and was awarded the inaugural James Madison University Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Visual and Performing Arts. In the same year, he was commissioned by his other alma mater, the University of Miami, to compose music for the inauguration of the institution’s 6th president, Dr. Julio Frenk. His music was also performed as part of the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service, which was attended by both President Obama and Vice President Biden. As a conductor, Mr. Balmages enjoys regular engagements with all-state and regional ensembles as well as university and professional groups throughout the world. Notable guest conducting appearances have included the Midwest Clinic, Western International Band Clinic, Maryborough Music Conference (Australia), College Band Directors Conference, American School Band Directors Association National Conference, numerous state ASTA conferences, Teatro dell’Aquila (Italy), and others. He is an elected member of the American Bandmasters Association and has taught instrumental conducting at Towson University where he also served as Assistant Director of Bands and Orchestras. Currently, he is Director of MakeMusic Publications and Digital Education for Alfred and MakeMusic.
Jessica Meyer (String Orchestra)
Jessica Meyer - With playing that is “fierce and lyrical” and works that are “other-worldly” (The Strad) and “evocative” (New York Times), Jessica Meyer is a GRAMMY® – nominated violist and composer whose passionate musicianship radiates accessibility and emotional clarity. Her first composer/performer portrait album in 2019 debuted at #1 on the Billboard traditional classical chart, where “knife-edge anticipation opens on to unexpected, often ecstatic musical realms, always with a personal touch and imaginatively written for the instruments” (Gramophone Magazine).
Meyer’s compositions viscerally explore the wide palette of emotionally expressive colors available to each instrument while using traditional and extended techniques inspired by her varied experiences as a contemporary and period instrumentalist. Since embarking on her composition career eight years ago, premieres have included performances by acclaimed vocal ensembles Roomful of Teeth and Vox Clamantis, the St. Lawrence String Quartet as the composer in residence at Spoleto Festival USA, the American Brass Quintet, PUBLIQuartet, cellist Amanda Gookin for her Forward Music Project, Sybarite 5, NOVUS NY of Trinity Wall Street, a work for A Far Cry commissioned by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Juilliard School for a project with the Historical Performance Program, and by the Lorelei Ensemble for a song cycle that received the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award from Chorus America. Her first Symphonic Band piece was recently premiered by the President’s Own Marine Band (first at Strathmore then the NY premiere in Carnegie Hall), and her orchestral works have been performed by the Phoenix, North Carolina, Charlotte, and Vermont Symphonies, the Nu Deco Ensemble in Miami, at Tanglewood in Seiji Ozawa Hall, and all around the country as part of Carnegie Hall’s nationwide Link Up Program. She was the winner of the 2nd Annual Ellis-Beauregard Foundation Composer’s Award to write a piece for the Bangor Symphony, and a winner of Chamber Music America’s Commissioning Program Award to write for the Argus Quartet. Recent chamber/solo premieres included a work for CityMusic Cleveland, musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra, and for the Five Borough Songbook.This season brings the premiere of “GAEA”, a concerto for herself and orchestra, as well as works for the Dorian Wind Quintet, Hausmann Quartet, Hub New Music, the Portland Youth Philharmonic in collaboration with the female vocal ensemble In Mulieribus.
Alysia Lee (Choir)
CHOIR - Alysia Lee receives national recognition for advancing access, equity, and decolonization with leaders, organizations, and communities. Her methods center on youth leadership, anti-racism, creativity, and justice. Alysia is the inaugural President of the Baltimore Children & Youth Fund, the bold hyperlocal grantmaker stewarding public funds to support the success of Baltimore’s young people. BCYF is committed to authentic community engagement, and all strategy and grant decisions are shaped and led by Baltimore community members and youth leaders. With the core values of Racial Equity, Intergenerational Leadership, Community Ownership, and Collective Decision-Making, BCYF strives to resource a future where children and youth programs have the resources they need to equitably serve all young Baltimoreans.
Lee is the Founder and Artistic Director ofSister Cities Girlchoir (SCG), the El Sistema-inspired, girl empowerment choral academy in Philadelphia, Camden, and Baltimore in its 11th season. SCG is an award-winning and trendsetting choral education program with performance credits from Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, and numerous school and community stages. Lee has an emerging voice as a choral composer. She is the series editor of Hal Leonard’s Exigence for Young Voices, the new choral series uplifting Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian composers for young choir ensembles. Her piece ‘Say Her Name’ is published by Hal Leonard. She has recent composition commissions from Baltimore Choral Arts, Artemisia Trio, and the Portland Lesbian Choir.
Lee is also a Board member ofChorus America and a National Advisor to ArtsEdSEL. Lee is formerly the education program supervisor for Fine Arts Education for theMaryland State Department of Education across five arts disciplines: music, dance, visual art, theatre, and media arts. She supported the statewide arts learning community through policy, evaluation, technical assistance, and advocacy that centered on equity and excellence.
Recent recognitions include awards from The Kennedy Center, The Knight Foundation, National Association of University Women, Stockton Bartol Foundation, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and BEQ Pride. Recent speaking/facilitation engagements include the U.S. Department of Education, The Kennedy Center, VH-1 Save the Music, Carnegie Hall, Arts Education Partnership, TEDX, many colleges and universities, and national and state professional associations. A Baltimore native, Lee is an alumna of Maryland public schools (Baltimore County Public Schools). She earned her graduate degree from Peabody Conservatory. Alysia also completed Executive Education programs at Harvard University and La Salle University.
What Is The Timeline?
Now-Aug 1 Schools/ensembles register to become a ComMission Possible Member
Sept 1-Oct 20 Ideas are generated by students using curriculum materials supplied by Beyond The Notes (BTN). Schools apply to be host ensemble.
Oct 20-Nov 1 BTN panel selects top 15 ideas and host school. Information shared with the composer for consideration.
Nov 20 Composer Interview #1 revealing concept selected/decided for the new composition.
Late Dec Composer Interview #2 focusing on questions from students.
Feb 1 Composer Interview #3 sharing final work, ideas for rehearsal and performance.
April-June Composer visit to the selected school for world premiere performance and residency! Schools that did not apply for the world premiere performance or were not selected will have the opportunity to perform the new composition listed as a "regional premiere".
What Is The Cost To Participate?
$125 per ensemble. I know....it is a GREAT deal!
How Do You Register?
Fill out the form below or click HERE to open it on a new page. Registration deadline is August 1, 2023.