Commissioned Composer

MTNA Commissioning Mission

MTNA is dedicated to encouraging the creation of new works by American composers and annually assists its affiliated state associations in the generation and performance of new music through the national composers commissioning program. A newly commissioned composition receives its premiere performance at the conference of the state MTA that commissions the work.

To further promote and recognize outstanding contributions to American music, MTNA annually has its state affiliates submit commissioned compositions 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 performance at the MTNA national conference, and the composer is proclaimed the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year. The selected composer receives a $5,000 award.

Commissioned Composer Application

2024 GMTA Commissioned Composer

GMTA Commissioned Composer

James A. Devor

2024 GMTA Commissioned Composer

James A. Devor is an American composer, sound artist and double bassist whose music searches to implement an array of experimental sounds while grappling with human emotions. He recently completed his MM in music composition at The Hart School – University of Hartford in 2023 and has received BMs in music theory/composition and music education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. James' private instructors include Libby Larsen, Robert Carl, Ken Steen, Daron Hagen, Robert Maggio, and Gilda Lyons and he has been a participant at Song Source – MNSong, New Music on the Point, Wintergreen Composer's Retreat, Sō Percussion Workshop, Sewanee Winterfest, and the European American Musical Alliance.

Most renown for his lyrical yet modern approach to American art song, James has had his music performed across the globe. Most recently, his work has been heard at NACUSA National Conference, the Annual Research on Contemporary Composition Conference at University of North Georgia, and the Contemporary Music Lab at the European University of Cyprus.

Above all, James' music finds manners to implement a vast set of experimental sounds, timbres, and colors, all the while being solidly focused on collaborating with performers and audience engagement. His recent work has delved into how live electronics can enhance and supplement the sound of musicians in real time.

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Commissioned Composer Award/Prize Overview:

  • One cash award/commission fee of $1500 ($750 from MTNA, $750 from GMTA) will be awarded each year.
  • Commissioned composer will provide the performers and must be present at the GMTA Conference premiere to receive award. A digital copy of the premiere performance will be presented to the commissioned composer. The commissioned composition, or any portions of the commissioned composition, cannot be premiered prior to this event.
  • Commissioned work (score and audio) will be submitted by GMTA for the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year Award.
  • Commissioned composer will be featured on the GMTA webpage.
  • Performers of commissioned work at the GMTA Conference premiere will receive a stipend directly from GMTA up to $100 each, to a maximum of $500. The commissioned composer can supplement this amount should they choose. If the composer is also a performer at the premiere, the composer does not receive an additional performer stipend.

Commissioned Composer Chronological Timeline Overview:

  1. September 1: Applications Due
  2. October 15: Award Notification
  3. December 1: Award Announcement on GMTA Website
  4. June 1 (following year): Composition Completion Date, submitted to performers and GMTA Commissioning Chair
  5. Early November: GMTA Conference - Premiere performance and live recording, commission funds due
  6. December 1: Score and audio files submitted to MTNA for Distinguished Composer of the Year Award
  7. Late March (following Nov. premiere): MTNA National Conference performance (if selected)

Previous Commissioned Composers

pdf Click any composer for an informational PDF.

2023 Brandon Walker
2022 Brandon K. Smith
2021 Garrison Gerard
2020 Peter Van Zandt Lane
2019 Terry Lowry
2018 Lauren McCall
2017 Dr. Benjamin Warsaw
2016 Dr. David Peoples
2015 Greg McLean
2014 Sharon J. Willis
2013 Curtis Bryant
2012 Melinda Clark
2010 Lee Johnson
2009 Sorrel Hayes
2008 Dr. William Davis
2007 Geoffrey Haydon
2006 Dr. Michael Braz
2005 Dr. Martin David Jones
2004 Nick Demos
2003 Jim Stallings
2002 Dr. John Morgan
2001 Dr. John Corina
2000 Bill Rea
1999 Dr. Laurence Sherr
1998 Kendall Simpson
1997 Brent Weaver
1996 Greg McLean
1995 Dr. Carl Johnson
1994 Alvin Singleton
1993 Lucy L. Underwood
1992 Phillip Hayner
1991 Steve Everett
1990 Jacquelyn Spratlin Rogers
1989 Shirley Moore
1988 William Davis
1987 Curtis Bryant
1986 Robert Schultz
1985 Roger C. Vogel
1984 William Windstead
1983 Charles Knox
1982 Dr. Douglas Ashley
1981 Arthur Frackenpohl