Sonic Boom 2018 – Call for Scores

Time: 12:35
Date: 2017 Dec 08

Vancouver Pro Musica Presents

Sonic Boom 2018 Call for Scores

Featuring the Sonic Boom 2018 Ensemble-in-Residence: Nu:BC

Featured Artist: Michael Park

Composer-in-Residence: Owen Underhill

Submission Requirements
Submission form


Vancouver Pro Musica invites any and all BC composers to submit new works for presentation at the 31st Annual Sonic Boom Festival. This event will be held March 22-25, 2018 at various venues in Vancouver. Deadline for submission is December 8, 2017.

The festival comprises four evening concerts. One concert each is devoted to Nu:BC, this year’s Ensemble in Residence, and this year’s Featured Artist, Michael Park. 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 25, 2018) will be announced separately. Please check our website in the near future to submit for this event.

About the Artists

Ensemble-in-Residence: Nu:BC

Described in the Vancouver Sun as “a dream gift… One of the best additions to local new music circles”, The Nu:BC Collective brings together the spectacular talents of flutist Paolo Bortolussi, cellist Eric Wilson and pianist Corey Hamm, joined frequently by such eminent artists as violinist Jasper Wood, violist David Harding, and clarinetists Francois Houle and Cris Inguanti. Now in its ninth season as an ensemble-in-residence at the University of British Columbia, Nu:BC has presented critically acclaimed concerts featuring repertoire by exciting and influential contemporary composers from Canada and abroad.

From its inception the Nu:BC has striven to bring new music to audiences with an emphasis on collaboration and innovative approaches to concert programming. Incorporating technology and interdisciplinary collaboration has been a focus of the Collective, resulting in works pairing music with dance, interactive video and computer, as well as theatre. Collaborations have included performances with dancer and choreographer Emily Molnar, media artist Jamie Griffiths, interactive electronic music pioneers Keith Hamel and Robert Pritchard, Musica Intima, and the BC Chinese Music Ensemble.

For this concert the ensemble will comprise of:

Paolo Bortolussi – flutes (doubling alto)
Liam Hockley – clarinet (doubling bass clarinet)
David Gillham – violin
Tawnya Popoff – viola
Eric Wilson – cello
Mark Beaty – bass
Corey Hamm – piano

Nu:BC Website

Featured Artist: Michael Park, Solo Piano

Michael Park is a composer and pianist with a keen interest in speech, humour, and collaboration. His music aims to give audiences an experience beyond the realm of traditional concert-going. Heralded for his innovative projects, his Ted Talk Experiencing Disease Through Music has been described as moving, haunting, and an amazing translation of the disease [Alzheimer’s]. His opera, Diagnosis: Diabetes was awarded the Gold Medal and BMO Advocacy Award at the 2013 Boston Metro Opera’s International Composer Competition.

Michael completed his Doctor of Musical Arts at The University of British Columbia, graduate studies at The University of Western Ontario (2009), and undergraduate studies at the University of Manitoba (2007). His principal composition teachers include Dorothy Chang, Omar Daniel, Peter Paul Koprowski, Gordon Fitzell, and Orjan Sandred.

An accomplished pianist, Michael’s experiences with improvisation and multi-disciplinary collaboration led him to studies in composition. He regularly performs his own works, as well as those of his colleagues and continues to collaborate with a wide variety of artists, including dancers, poets, visual artists, and musicians.

He is co-founder of Art Song Lab, an innovative program that teams composers with poets. Michael is an associate composer with the Canadian Music Centre, pianist with Erato Ensemble, and sits on the board of directors for Redshift Music Society.

Michael Park’s Website

Composer-in-Residence: Owen Underhill

Owen Underhill lives in Vancouver where he is active as a composer, conductor, artistic director and faculty member in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University.

As a composer, Underhill writes for diverse combinations including orchestra, voice and choir, and a wide variety of chamber music ranging from traditional ensembles to groupings of unusual instrumentation. He has a special interest in large-scale interdisciplinary collaborations, having composed a number of works for dance as well as his 1994 opera The Star Catalogues. Among his most recent compositions are Ten Miniatures (2013) for flute, cello and piano commissioned by the Novo Ensemble, The Curio Box (2014) for solo cello and ensemble commissioned by Vancouver New Music and String Quartet #4: The Night (2011) commissioned by the Quatuor Bozzini. His Canzone di Petra (2004), a piece for flute and harp commissioned by Heidi Krutzen and Lorna McGhee, was the winner of the 2007 Western Canadian Music Outstanding Composition Award. His orchestral work Lines of Memory won first prize in the 1994 du Maurier Canadian Composers’ Competition and his Love Songs was nominated for a Juno in 2002. His music has many different expressions and has been described as dense and interesting, colourful, lyrical in inspiration, exuberant and witty, subtle, and thoughtful.

His compositions have been performed by leading music organizations in Canada including Arraymusic, Quatuor Bozzini, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Esprit Orchestra, Vancouver Cantata Singers, musica intima, the Vancouver Symphony, Vancouver Bach Choir and the Turning Point Ensemble. International performances have included the premiere of two chamber works by the CrossSound Festival in Alaska, Boston performances by the King’s Chapel Choir, Arcadian Winds, and bassoonist Janet Underhill, and performances of Bagatelle and One Page Sonata in Bratislava, Slovakia. His music has been included on several recordings including his recently released disc Still Image on the Centrediscs label.

Active as a programmer and promoter of contemporary music, Underhill was Artistic Director of Vancouver New Music from 1987 to 2000, a period of substantial growth for the organization. He is currently Artistic Director of the Turning Point Ensemble, a large chamber ensemble of outstanding Vancouver musicians dedicated to the celebration of twentieth century music and new music. He has been active as an arts advocate and supporter of Canadian music organizations, and has been active for many years with the Canadian Music Centre, serving as the President from 2010 – 2014.

Underhill has been an SFU faculty member since 1981, teaching music composition and conducting, and serving for a series of terms as Director of the School for the Contemporary Arts. He is currently Dean Pro Tem of the Faculty of Communciation, Art and Technology.

Owen Underhill’s Website

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 8, 2017.
  • 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.

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

1. Nu:BC Submissions

  • Nu:BC features seven performers, with the following instrumentation:
    • Flutes (Doubling Alto), Clarinet (Doubling Bass Clarinet), Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass & Piano. 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 seven (7).
  • Maximum duration: 8 minutes. Please note that time limits will be strictly enforced to allow as many pieces as possible to be programmed.
  • The ensemble welcomes questions relating to possible submissions. Please email Paolo Bortolussi at [email protected]

Note: Composers of selected works should submit parts to Vancouver Pro Musica by December 29, 2017. These works will be played by Nu:BC at a reading session on February 3, 2018. After the reading session, composers may make revisions based on their experience at the reading session. Revisions are due February 17, 2018.

2. Michael Park – Solo Piano Submissions

  • Maximum duration: 8 minutes. Please note that time limits will be strictly enforced to allow as many pieces as possible to be programmed.
  • Works must be written for a single pianist performer, but may incorporate extended technique. In particular, works for speaking pianist are encouraged. For more information, please attend the workshop on September 30, 2017 at the Canadian Music Centre, which will be given by Michael Park.

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.
  • Successful applicants have the option to choose their own professional musicians or allow Vancouver Pro Musica to co-ordinate performers. Once the composer is connected with the performers it is their responsibility to organize a rehearsal.
  • 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 late 2017. 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 all 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 8, 2017: Score submission deadline.
  • Late 2017: Applicants notified of selection results.
  • March 22 & 23: Concerts at Pyatt Hall.

Nu:BC Submissions

  • September 23 2017 10am-2pm: Workshop at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Music teaching studio, room 4350.
  • December 8, 2017: Score submission deadline.
  • Mid-December 2017: Submitters notified of preliminary selection results.
  • December 29, 2017: Parts due.
  • February 3, 2018, 10 am—2 pm: Reading session at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Music teaching studio, room 4350.
  • February 17, 2018: Revisions due.
  • March 25 2018: Concert at the Orpheum Annex.

Michael Park Submissions

  • September 30, 2017, 10 am—2 pm: Open workshop at the Canadian Music Centre, 837 Davie St., Vancouver
  • December 8, 2017: Score submission deadline.
  • Mid-December 2017: Submitters notified of selection results.
  • January 27, 2018: Reading session at the Canadian Music Centre.
  • February 10, 2018: Revisions due.
  • March 24, 2018: Concert at Pyatt Hall.

Sonic Boom Festival: March 22-25, 2018

Submission Form