MTNA is dedicated to encouraging the creation of new works by
American composers and annually assists its affiliated State
Associations with the generation and performance of new music
through the national Composer Commissioning program. A newly
commissioned work receives its premiere performance at the
convention of the State MTA responsible for that commission.
To further promote and recognize outstanding contributions to
American music, MTNA annually has its State Affiliates submit their
commissioned works to a panel of recognized composers for selection
of the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year. The new work of the
selected composer is presented in a concert performance at the next
MTNA National Conference, and the composer is proclaimed the MTNA
Distinguished Composer of the Year. The selected composer also
receives a check for $3,000.
A commission is a formal, written agreement between two or more
parties authorizing the performance of a certain task-that is, the
act of entrusting, of placing confidence in someone to carry out a
task that person has been authorized to do. In terms of the MTNA
Composer Commissioning program, a commission is for the successful
creation of a new musical work, for which the commissioning State
MTA will pay a commission fee, including MTNA's matching funds up
to $750. A commission is not a prize for an extant composition;
rather, it is meaningful encouragement for a recognized composer to
create a new musical work after formal agreement is reached.
MTNA makes no stipulations regarding composer choice,
performance medium, composition length or compositional style.
These decisions are left to each state association and its
However, three practical considerations are worth noting:
Reproduction of this score, in whole or part, by mechanical or
handwritten means is prohibited. The composer holds all rights
pertaining to the attached score, including performance rights.
Permission to perform this work must be obtained from the composer.
The Music Teachers National Association can assist with contacting
the composer. Write to Executive Director/CEO, MTNA, The Carew
Tower, 441 Vine Street, Suite 3100, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-3004, or
call the Executive Director/CEO at (888) 512-5278.
Generally, commissioning is done one or more years in advance of
the premiere performance. Some states allow two years. A minimum
time of ten (10) months between commissioning a composer and the
premiere performance at the state convention is recommended.
Previously commissioned works may be performed along with the
The continued success of the MTNA Composer Commissioning Program
depends on constructive input from the state MTAs. Questions and/or
suggestions should be directed to the National Composers
Commissioning Chair, found under National Chairs listed on the last
page of every issue of American Music Teacher.