Reading Sessions of New Compositions

Next offered: October 26, 2020
Application deadline: September 30, 2020 (application portal will open in August 2020)
Location: TBD

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 other’s work
  • You hear how your composition or arrangement sounds and we discuss issues of vocal range, tessitura, composition, and notation together
  • You work with Elektra’s Artistic Director, Morna Edmundson, composer/pianist Dr. Stephen Smith, and our 2020 Guest Composer, Dr. Ramona Luengen
  • 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 up to 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.
  • Free Admission. Open to observers.

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 on 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. The session with the choir will be recorded and participants will receive an audio file of their segment. (Pictured: Dr. Ramona Luengen).

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

 2018 Participating Composers: Julijana Hajdinjak, Nicholas Ryan Kelly, Vincent Lo, and Deborah Sumner.

2016 participant David Archer commented, “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.

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