Composer Commission Opportunity

Kaplan Commissioning Project
Saint Mary’s University Concert Band

The ninth Helen and Sam Kaplan Foundation Commission for a new Concert Band composition written by a composer of Jewish heritage is outlined below. Any questions prior to application submission should be directed to Dr. Janet Heukeshoven, Director of Bands, at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Amount of Commission:

• $7,000.00 plus travel/expense allowance for a campus residency at the premier of the composition.

Description of the Composition:

• The work will be scored for standard full Concert Band instrumentation, appropriate difficulty level for advanced high school bands and small college ensembles.

• Length of composition: approximately 5-8 minutes in length.

• The composition must be based on Jewish melodic or thematic material, either folk or religious sources.

Expectations of the composer:

• The selected composer will interact with SMU band students regarding the composition during the composition process. He/she will attend the premier and present a lecture/seminar on the commissioned work and music composition in general. Past commissioned composers have spent 4-6 days in residency in Winona surrounding the premiere.

• The composer will provide SMU a full score and one set of parts or appropriate pdf files. Additional duplication of parts as needed for the ensemble will be the responsibility of the university.

• The composer retains all copyrights and will acknowledge SMU’s role in the commission of the composition upon future publication and/or distribution.

• The SMU Concert Band will present the premier performance at a mutually agreed upon concert date during the 2018-19 academic year. The composer will have the opportunity to conduct the premier performance if desired.

Application process and deadline:

Interested Jewish composers must send the following:

• Letter of introduction and intent
• Resume/Vitae
• Scores and recordings of three representative compositions, either electronically (pdf score files, mp3 recordings, sound cloud links, etc.) or hard copies.

If you wish to have printed materials returned send a SASE for return of materials.

Application deadline for the 2017 Commission is October 1st, 2017.
Performance date will be negotiated with the selected composer.

Email application documents to

Any printed scores/media should be sent to:

Dr. Janet Heukeshoven
Kaplan Commission Project Chair
Saint Mary’s University Music Department
700 Terrace Heights #58
Winona, MN 55987-1399

Scores submitted for consideration need not be band compositions, but must demonstrate wind and percussion writing. Composers who have applied for the Kaplan/SMU Commission in the past are encouraged to re-apply, except for the most recently commissioned composer.

Application materials (unless return requested) will be kept in the Kaplan Commission Project Archives for study by SMU music majors.

For additional information please contact Dr. Heukeshoven at 507-457-1675 (office), 507-429-5148 (cell) or email:

Past Commissioned Composers:

2000: Steven Barnett: Halleil: O Praise the Lord, for concert band
2002: Lee Kesselman: Let Peace Descend, for choir and wind ensemble
2004: Philip Rothman: Departure Point, for solo piano and wind ensemble
2006: Judith Lang-Zaimont: Israeli Rhapsody, for concert band
2008: Marc Kibrick Bernstein: Ashkenazi Fathers, for jazz combo (with soloist or soloists) and concert band
2010 Paul Richards: If You Could Only See the Frog, for concert band
2012 Larry Bitensky: Katanya, for concert band and narrator
2015 Steven Rosenhaus: Ayshet Chayil, for concert band and baritone voice