Composer Commissioning


Mission Statement

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.


Statement of Philosophy

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.


Program Chair

Ann Rivers Witherspoon or call (281) 773-5731

Become a Commissioned Composer


The Commissioned Composer program continues to be one of the most important programs for the MTNA, since its inception in 1969. Combining the need in the United States to perpetuate the art of new American music and for states to have an opportunity to highlight live performances of new music, the commissioning program allows MTNA and state affiliates to pool resources to commission new works.

Find out more.

Commission A Composer


MTNA encourages every state to participate in the Commissioned Composer program. Each state maintains a great deal of autonomy for commissioning composers and receives matching funds to assist with the commissioning fee. MTNA has studied the varying commissioning methods among the state affiliates and created a resource of best practices for commissioning a composer.

Additional Details

Download a Sample Contract