Apply for CoLab, a collaboration for young composers in NE Ohio!

Deadline for applying: EXTENDED to November 9, 2018

CUSP strives to give a voice to adventurous creators and performing artists of diverse backgrounds. In an effort to minimize the gender gap in music composition, we are launching CoLab, which will provide professional opportunities and mentorship to young female and non-binary composers in the Northeast Ohio region.

Two applicants will be chosen to compose new works in 2019 for No Exit, one of Cleveland’s most well-respected new music ensembles. By workshopping their music with the performers in a rehearsal setting, CoLab participants will receive in-depth experience composing collaboratively with professional musicians. The project will culminate in a world premiere performance at Re:Sound, CUSP’s annual four-day new music festival that will take place June 6-9, 2019 at venues throughout Cleveland.



  • Open to cis- and transgender women and gender non-conforming students in grades 9-12

  • Must be available for rehearsals and premiere (dates listed below)

  • Must reside in Northeast Ohio



  • Two composers will be selected

  • Each selected composer will receive a $250 commission fee

  • Selected composers cover their own travel expenses for rehearsals and performance

  • Timeline:

    • Application due November 9, 2018

    • Composers selected and notified by December 1, 2018

    • Conversation with director of No Exit and CUSP team in mid-December

    • Score and parts of new work due March 1, 2019

    • In-person workshop/rehearsal with No Exit in Cleveland on the afternoon of March 23rd (1-5pm)

    • Revisions to new work due May 1, 2019

    • Final rehearsal on the afternoon of Saturday, June 8, 2019 (1-5pm)

    • Performance on the afternoon of Sunday, June 9, 2019


Composition Requirements:

  • 6-8 minute duo, trio, or quartet made up of the following instruments: flute (and/or piccolo), clarinet (and/or bass clarinet), violin, and percussion (specific instruments to be determined during collaboration).

  • It’s strongly encouraged that scores and parts be engraved, but this is not required.


Application Materials:

  • There is no application fee.

  • Required materials:

    • Application

    • A score and/or recording of a chamber piece (2-6 players) as close to No Exit ensemble’s instrumentation as possible; recording can be midi if live recording has not been made. Please upload the recording to YouTube, SoundCloud, or another platform and provide us with a link -OR- send the file via email, WeTransfer, Dropbox, etc. Hard copy CDs are also accepted.

    • A letter describing your experience as a composer and what you hope to gain from this opportunity.

    • A list of 2 professional references, including email, phone, and relationship.

  • Please send materials to uncommonsoundCLE@gmail.com by November 9, 2018. We also accept hard copy applications via mail. Email us for our address.