Sonic Boom 2017 – Call for Scores

Time: 23:59
Date: 2016 Dec 09

Vancouver Pro Musica Presents

Sonic Boom 2017 Call for Scores

Featuring the Sonic Boom 2017 Ensemble-in-Residence: ERATO Ensemble

Featured Artist: Marina Hasselberg

Composer-in-Residence: Dorothy Chang

Submission Requirements
Submission form


Vancouver Pro Musica invites any and all BC composers to submit new works for presentation at the 30th Annual Sonic Boom Festival. This event will be held March 16-19, 2017 at various venues in Vancouver. Deadline for submission is December 9, 2016.

The festival comprises four evening concerts. One concert each is devoted to ERATO Ensemble, this year’s Ensemble in Residence, and this year’s Featured Artist, Marina Hasselberg. Two additional concerts are dedicated to showcasing new works by BC composers writing for solo performers and various small ensembles. Composers are invited to submit a maximum of two works for consideration across the three categories; however, at most one work per composer will be selected for performance.

The Call for Scores for our Student Composers’ Masterclass (March 19, 2017) will be announced separately. Please check our website in the near future to submit for this event.

About the Artists

Ensemble-in-Residence: ERATO Ensemble

ERATO is an art-song chamber ensemble formed in 2006. Erato’s mission is to combine traditional art-song with chamber music, creating a new genre. In its ten year existence, Erato Ensemble has created or premiered over 70 new works, many by Canadian composers. In addition, the ensemble is committed to programming existing Canadian works, and is an official affiliate ensemble of the Canadian Music Centre. The ensemble’s idiosyncratic combination of voice and instruments in various combinations provides a unique listening experience for their audience, and a diverse palette for composers.

Featured Artist: Marina Hasselberg, Solo Cello (with Electronics)

Dear Composers,

I would like to share a few thoughts regarding what I am passionate about and what I have to offer as a performer:

I am interested in works that:

  • focus on the artistic aspect of the performance, rather than purely technical aspects
  • showcase a combination of sound, movement, and visual components

You are welcome to incorporate the use of toy and object instruments, spoken voice, simple singing lines, electronics, and improv sections.

Due to the fact that I present solo cello concerts on a regular basis as part of my series ECHOES (for which I am constantly curating new programs), I am hoping that I will be able to offer your piece repeated performances in the future and possibly include it in one of my up coming albums. 

I am looking forward to hearing your ideas and performing your music! 

Feel free to contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions.

Best, M

Along with being the Artistic Director of NOVO Ensemble, Marina is an active and passionate chamber musician specializing in new and baroque music. An advocate for new works, especially those by Canadian composers, Marina has commissioned and premiered many new pieces with several more being written for future premieres. Marina’s love of all the arts, especially dance, film and theater, is leading to the creation of inter-disciplinary works that cross genre boundaries.


Composer-in-Residence: Dorothy Chang

The music of composer Dorothy Chang has been described as “evocative and kaleidoscopic” (Seattle Times) and praised for its colourful scoring and range of dramatic expression. Her music is rooted in the Western art music tradition but often reflects the eclectic mix of musical influences from her youth, ranging from popular and folk music to elements of traditional Chinese music.

Dorothy’s catalog includes works for solo, chamber and large ensembles as well as collaborations involving theatre, dance and video. Her music has been featured in concerts and festivals across North America and abroad, and has won her several awards and honours, including awards from the American Society of Composers, the International Alliance for Women in Music, and the National Society of Arts and Letters. She has also served on the music faculty at Indiana State University and since 2003 has been a Professor of Music at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

How to Submit

Sonic Boom welcomes all styles/genres and BC composers of all levels of experience. To submit, complete the online form at the bottom of this page. Payment in the form of cash or cheque will need to be mailed separately. Only submission forms completed through this website will be considered.

All submissions must meet the following requirements:

  • Submitting composers must be residents of BC.
  • Submissions must be received by 11:59 pm on Friday, December 9, 2016.
  • Accompanied by cash or cheque sent by mail, or payment through PayPal. Fee for submission is $25 for one piece or $40 for two. Please make cheques payable to:
    • Vancouver Pro Musica Society
      PO Box 78077 RPO Grandview
      Vancouver, BC  V5N 5W1
  • Works must have been composed within the past three years.
  • Composers will be expected to attend the concert for their work.

In addition to the above general requirements, submissions will also need to follow the guidelines below specific to each category:

1. ERATO Ensemble Submissions

  • ERATO Ensemble features eight performers, with the following instrumentation:
    • Four singers (SATB), with flute, clarinet, cello and piano.
    •  Flute instrumentation includes piccolo, alto flute, and bass flute as well as concert flute in C with B-foot (one performer). Clarinet instrumentation comprises clarinets in Bb and A and bass clarinet in Bb (one performer).
    • Submissions including other instruments or singers will not be considered.
  • Works must be scored for a minimum of four (4) performers, up to the full ensemble of eight (8).
  • Works must contain at least one vocal part.
  • Maximum duration: 8 minutes. Please note that time limits will be strictly enforced to allow as many pieces as possible to be programmed.
  • Composers should be prepared to conduct the ensemble at the reading session (January 7, 2017), especially if their work is rhythmically complex.
  • The ensemble welcomes questions relating to possible submissions: [email protected]

Note: ERATO Ensemble submissions will go through a two-step selection process. A preliminary selection of pieces will be played at a reading session on January 7, 2017. Composers selected for this round should submit parts to Vancouver Pro Musica by December 31, 2016. After the reading session, composers may make revisions based on their experience at the reading session. Revisions are due February 10, 2017.

2. Marina Hasselberg Solo Cello (with Electronics) Submissions

  • Submitted works may be for cello and electronics or solo cello. Electronics may involve fixed-media or live interactive elements. Preference will be given to works including electronics and works who do not require the presence of the composer as a performer (in order to make the rehearsal process simpler, as well as to facilitate future performances), though all works will be considered.
  • Works may involve video.
  • Electronics should be for stereo output. Additional speakers will not be accommodated.
  • Marina has the equipment listed below available to her.Preference will be given to works that Marina is able to facilitate with her own equipment. Please attend the workshop (10 am—2 pm on September 24, 2016 at the Gold Saucer Studio (Studio 211A, 207 West Hastings St. Vancouver) to learn more about her gear and setup.
    • Cello Pickup
    • Bass Amp
    • Zoom G3 Effects Pedal/Looper
    • Mac Book Air
    • Modern Cello / Baroque Cello
  • We will also have a second computer (highly specialized Macbook Pro) to run standalone MaxMSP patches, and pieces requiring Ableton Live or ProTools.
  • Maximum duration: 8 minutes. Please note that time limits will be strictly enforced to allow as many pieces as possible to be programmed.

Please contact our tech coordinator (Brian Topp – brian.l.topp(at) with any questions or concerns about the tech requirements for your work and the available tech.

Also note that you are allowed to use what ever software, equipment or devices you would like but that doing so may greatly limit Marina’s ability to rehearse your work. If your piece cannot be rehearsed without your presence it will be your responsibility to organize and facilitate rehearsals with Marina. There will be a reading session of accepted works and a tech/dress rehearsal prior to the concert date. As well, you will be required to provide all necessary equipment to facilitate your performance, at these sessions and the concert, including your own computer, audio interface, microphones and cable to get from your interface to the mixer. There is equipment available at the concert venue, but please be prepared to provide all necessary equipment for your work.

3. General Submissions

  • Works must be scored for four or fewer performers.
  • Maximum duration: 8 minutes. Please note that time limits will be strictly enforced to allow as many pieces as possible to be programmed.
  • Video projection will be available upon request.
  • Proposals for mixed media (dancers, theatre, etc.), web-based technologies, public art happenings, sonic installations, or other auditory new media works will be considered, but may be limited due to technical requirements. Please include thoroughly detailed documentation to aid the selection committee in understanding the technical details of the work.

Announcement and Presentation of Works Selected

Vancouver Pro Musica will contact all the submitters by early 2016. While Pro Musica wishes to be as inclusive as possible, production costs, time constraints, and other practical concerns may require that not all submitters will have a work selected. Vancouver Pro Musica will employ a panel of experienced composers to guide the selection of pieces for performance. Decisions of the panel will be final.

Composers selected for performance must be ready to provide all required performance materials including parts. Those whose works are presented will receive a recording of their work for non-commercial demo purposes.

All composers who submit pieces, regardless of whether or not their piece is selected for performance, may attend any Sonic Boom event free of charge and will become members in good standing of Vancouver Pro Musica without being required to pay dues.

Important Dates

General Submissions

  • December 9, 2016: Score submission deadline.
  • Early 2017: Submitters notified of selection results.

ERATO Ensemble Submissions

  • (Mid Fall, Date and time TBA): Workshop at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Music teaching studio, room 4350.
  • December 9, 2016: Score submission deadline.
  • Mid-December 2016: Submitters notified of preliminary selection results.
  • December 31, 2016: Parts due.
  • January 7, 2017, 10 am—2 pm: Reading session at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Music teaching studio, room 4350.
  • February 10, 2017: Revisions due.

Marina Hasselberg Submissions

  • September 24, 2016, 10 am—2 pm: Open workshop at the Gold Saucer Studio, Room 211A ($10 participation fee.)
    • Address: Studio 211A, 207 West Hastings St, Vancouver, in the Dominion Building, corner of W Hastings and Cambie.
  • December 9, 2016: Score submission deadline.
  • Early 2017: Submitters notified of selection results.
  • January 14 or 15, 2017: Reading session at the Western Front.
  • February 10, 2017: Revisions due.

Sonic Boom Festival: March 16-19, 2017

Submission Form