2017 Women Composers Readings and Commissions Program

Congratulations to 2017 commission recipients Stacy Garrop, Robin Holcomb, and Andrea Reinkemeyer, each receiving orchestral commissions of $15,000. 

stacy_1   robin_1   andrea

The League of American Orchestras’ Women Composers Readings and Commissions program is administered with American Composers Orchestra and supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

Read the press announcement.

Andrea Reinkemeyer's work, Water Sings Fire, will be premiered by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and music director Carlos Miguel Prieto on January 10, 2019, with additional performances on January 11 and 12.

Stacy Garrop's work will be premiered by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and Robin Holcomb's by the Portland Symphony Orchestra (Maine) (details to be announced).

Learn about Championing Women Composers, a session on June 15 at the League's National Conference in Chicago featuring several of the past and present commission recipients, as well as leading Chicago-area women composers, discussing how the orchestra field can provide more opportunities, resources, and equity for women composers.

Click here for information about past participants.

About the Program

Through the League's Women Composers Readings and Commissions program, twenty-eight women composers have benefitted from career development via EarShot readings and ten composers have now received commissions, with four (premieres by Julia Adolphe, Melody Eötvös, Chen-Hui Jen, and Andreia Pinto-Correia) completed.

Launched in 2014 and now entering it's fifth year, the Women Composers program is embedded in EarShot, an initiative of American Composers Orchestra (ACO) in collaboration with American Composers Forum, the League of American Orchestras, and New Music USA. 

Earshot is the nation’s first ongoing, systematic program for identifying emerging orchestral composers. ACO’s artistic and administrative staff works with participating orchestras, assisting with planning and identifying composers through its extensive nationwide calls, as well as program design and execution. EarShot offers participants career development in the form of mentorships, counsel, and industry exposure with partner orchestras across the country.

2016-17 EarShot readings took place with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and ACO's Underwood New Music Readings. 2017-2018 readings were conducted with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Charlotte Symphony, and the Jacksonville Symphony. All women who participated in past EarShot readings were considered for commissions.

The League's Women Composers Readings and Commissions program has been renewed for 2018.

2017 Commission Recipients

Photo Credit: Frank Ishman

Stacy Garrop

Stacy Garrop’s music is centered on dramatic and lyrical storytelling. The sharing of stories is a defining element of our humanity; we strive to share with others the experiences and concepts that we find compelling. Stacy shares stories by taking audiences on sonic journeys – some simple and beautiful, while others are complicated and dark – depending on the needs and dramatic shape of the story.

New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras have chosen Stacy and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra as one of five orchestra/composer pairings for Music Alive’s 2016-2019 residence program. She will also serve as the inaugural Emerging Opera Composer for Chicago Opera Theater’s new Vanguard Initiative in 2018-2020. Theodore Presser Company publishes her chamber and orchestral works; she self-publishes her choral pieces under Inkjar Publishing Company. Stacy is a recording artist with Cedille Records; her works are also commercially available on nine additional labels.

Stacy has received the Barlow Prize, a Fromm Music Foundation grant, three Barlow Endowment commissions, and the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Music Composition Prize, along with prizes from competitions sponsored by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Omaha Symphony, New England Philharmonic, Boston Choral Ensemble, Utah Arts Festival, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and Sorel Organization. She has participated in reading session programs sponsored by the American Composers Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra (the Composers Institute).

Stacy’s catalog covers a wide range, with works for orchestra, wind ensemble, choir, art song, various sized chamber ensembles, and an evening-length oratorio. She has been commissioned and performed by the Albany Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra; by the chamber groups Capitol Saxophone Quartet, Gaudete Brass Quintet, and Kronos Quartet; and by the choirs Chanticleer, Chicago a cappella, Piedmont East Bay Children’s Chorus, San Francisco Choral Society, and Volti. Additional performances have been given by the Cabrillo and Grant Park Music Festival Orchestras; Amarillo, Charleston, Columbus, Illinois, Omaha, and Santa Cruz Symphony Orchestras; by Aspen Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble, Fifth House Ensemble, Lincoln Trio, and Voices of Change; and by Grant Park Music Festival Chorus and Voices of Ascension.

Stacy earned degrees in music composition at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (B.M.), University of Chicago (M.A.), and Indiana University-Bloomington (D.M.). She taught composition full-time at Roosevelt University from 2000 to 2016 before leaving to launch her freelance career. For more information, please visit her website at www.garrop.com or her all-things-composition blog at www.composerinklings.com/

Stacy Garrop's work will be premiered by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (details to be announced).


Photo Credit: Peter Gannushkin DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET

Robin Holcomb

Robin Holcomb has performed internationally as a solo artist and the leader of various ensembles. Following Sundanese gamelan performance studies at UC Santa Cruz and several years spent sharecropping tobacco in North Carolina, Holcomb was active in New York for many years as a composer and performer with deep roots in the downtown avant-garde as one of the original Studio Henry mavericks. She has recorded her music for Nonesuch, Tzakik, Songlines, and the New World labels. Holcomb is a founder and co-director of The New York Composers Orchestra and WACO (The Washington Composers Orchestra), ensembles for which she is also conductor, pianist and a principal composer. Other current performing ensembles include a longstanding duo project with cellist Peggy Lee and The Robin Holcomb Ensemble. Composing instrumental and vocal music for a wide variety of chamber ensembles and soloists, she has been commissioned to create scores for dance, film and theatre.

“Robin Holcomb is haunted. …It's not that she isn't an original.” (The
Georgia Straight)

“Ms. Holcomb's long form piece, Before the Comet Comes, is
staggeringly beautiful.” (New York Times)

“…this fascinatingly eclectic pianist, composer, and singer has few
qualms about mingling folk, jazz, chamber music, and points between
and beyond in arresting original music.” (The New Yorker)

“Satie goes to Appalachia, Morricone goes to the Knitting Factory,
and you, dear art-folk fan, die and go to heaven.” (The Village Voice)

Robin Holcomb's work will be premiered by the Portland Symphony Orchestra (Maine) (details to be announced).


Photo Credit: Frank Miller

Andrea Reinkemeyer

The music of American composer Andrea Reinkemeyer has been described as, “haunting,” “melodic and fun, dancing and almost running its way forward... whimsical,” “clever, funky, jazzy and virtuosic” (Detroit Free Press, Fanfare Magazine, Schenectady Daily Gazette); it explores the interplay of visual metaphors, nature, and sound to create lush textures against churning rhythmic figures.

Ms. Reinkemeyer has enjoyed recent commissions from: Albany (NY) Symphony Orchestra, H. Robert Reynolds and The Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings, Rodney Dorsey for the University of Oregon Wind Ensemble and University Singers, In Mulieribus, Lacroute Arts Series at Linfield College, Post-Haste Reed Duo, Jeffrey Heisler for the Primary Colors Trio, Miller Asbill and the Texas Tech University Concert Band, The Wild Swan Theater, Iowa Music Teachers’ Association, and many performers and visual artists.

Her music is distributed by the ADJ•ective Composers’ Collective; it has been performed both nationally and internationally, by the American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Readings, North-South Consonance Chamber Orchestra, fEAR no MUSIC, The Fire Wire Ensemble, Great Noise Ensemble, and Thailand International Composition Festival. Her electroacoustic compositions have been performed on the SEAMUS Conference, Spark Electronic Music Festival, University of Central Missouri New Music Festival, Electronic Music Midwest Festival, and Threshold Electronic Music Festival.

Reinkemeyer enjoys exploring music with students of all ages. In 2014, she joined the faculty of Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon as Assistant Professor of Music Composition & Theory. Previously, she served as a Part-time Lecturer in the Mahidol University International College, in Salaya, Thailand (2011-12) and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Composition, Theory and Technology at Bowling Green State University, Ohio (2005-10). Reinkemeyer has been the Composer-in-Residence with the Michigan Philharmonic’s, “The Composer in Me!” Education Pilot Program (2010-11), American-Romanian Festival’s Fusion Project (2011), and Burns Park Elementary School (2004, 2005, 2010). Her work with young musicians has been supported by a Meet the Composer/MetLife Creative Connections Grant.

Dr. Reinkemeyer holds degrees in music composition from the University of Michigan and University of Oregon; her primary composition teachers include: Michael Daugherty, Bright Sheng, Evan Chambers, Susan Botti, James Aikman, Robert Kyr, Jack Boss, and Harold Owen. Born and raised in Oregon, she has also lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Bangkok, Thailand.

Andrea Reinkemeyer's work, Water Sings Fire, will be premiered by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and music director Carlos Miguel Prieto on January 10, 2019, with additional performances on January 11 and 12.

More Information and Past Recipients

Learn more about Earshot.

Photo credits for images at top of page (left to right): Stacy Garrop (Frank Ishman); Robin Holcomb (Peter Gannushkin DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET); Andrea Reinkemeyer (Frank Miller)