Reading Sessions of New Compositions


Next offered: Monday evening, October 15, 2018

Application deadline: Friday, September 14, 2018

Tuesday,  September 18 – notification of status of application 

Thursday, September 27 by 3:30pm – deadline to drop 55 copies of the score to the Elektra office 949 W 49th Avenue Vancouver V5Z 2T1 (Unitarian Church of Vancouver; drop scores at church administration office or mail well before deadline) 

Monday, October 15 – Reading Session at Pacific Spirit United Church, 2205 West 45th Avenue, with dinner prior.
Details to follow 

2018 Guest Composer :

Celebrated Vancouver composer, Dr. Ramona Luengen


Free Admission. Open to observers.

An important part of Elektra’s mandate is to encourage the creation of new work for classically-based women’s choirs.

The purposes of our biennial Reading Session of New Compositions are many, including:

  • We meet each other in a constructive, interactive, and informal setting and get to know each others’ work
  • You hear how your composition or arrangement sounds and we discuss issues of vocal range, tessitura, composition, and notation together
  • Elektra experiences and sings new music and new sounds.  The Elektra singers are part of the process of discovery and discussion.
  • You spend an evening hearing your work and three others sung by Elektra and become more familiar with the sonic possibilities of the women’s choir “instrument”
  • We may find a work we feel is ready for programming into an upcoming Elektra concert.  However, this is not the main purpose of the Reading Session.

2016 participant David Archer had this to say about the Reading Session

“The Elektra Reading Session is a golden opportunity for composers to test new ideas with a skilled ensemble in a supportive environment. This kind of experience is vital for improving our craft. Morna rehearsed each of our pieces with attention to detail and a passion for translating each composer’s intentions into the choir’s best expression. I would highly recommend this workshop to choral composers who want to improve their choral writing.”

Your piece must be written for sopranos and/or altos in any number of voice parts, with or without piano accompaniment. It may be a previously unperformed original composition, an arrangement of an existing melody, a partial piece or simply a study. Your piece must be clearly written, either by hand or computer. Illegible scores will not be considered.

Up to four composers will be invited to participate. Only composers who are able to attend the reading session in person need apply to have their piece considered. After a general study session on the four works, each piece will be given approximately 20 minutes of rehearsal and discussion time with the choir, Elektra’s Artistic Director Morna Edmundson, composer/pianist Dr. Stephen Smith, and our guest composer. Dr. Ramona Luengen. The session with the choir will be recorded and participants will receive a compact disc of their segment.



There is no cost to participate in this project except that successful applicants will be asked to provide the choir with 45 printed copies of their piece four weeks in advance of the session. All applicants will be notified of acceptance/non-acceptance. Observers are warmly welcome – also free of charge.

Contact us or call 604-739-1255 for more information or to be added to the list to be notified about the 2018 Reading Session application deadline.





Here are some thoughts from Morna Edmundson for composers and arrangers:
Writing Well for Women’s Choir

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