Would you or your organization like to commission a work?
By commissioning a piece of music from a composer for a specific purpose or event you become an active participant in the creation of a legacy of music for the future. The reasons why people commission music are intensely personal and varied:
* A community choir and orchestra celebrate the anniversary of their founding.
* A wife surprises her husband with a cycle of love songs for his birthday.
* A church honors a retiring staff member.
* A couple decides to commemorate their anniversary with music.
* A family honors a milestone birthday.
* Many organizations join financial forces and co-commission a work. For instance, four elementary schools in Los Angeles got together and commissioned a work for an Elementary School Music Festival.
Commissioning is a process. From the moment of inspiration and conception to the moment the completed manuscript arrives in your hands there are decisions to be made, creative ideas to be tried out, and memorable moments when the commissioner and composer collaborate in their own ways to give birth to a new work of art.
What will it cost to commission a work?
The cost of a commission is determined by a number of factors including the composer’s reputation, the length of the proposed work, and the instrumentation (soloist only, chorus only, small instrumental ensemble, full orchestra or chorus with orchestra). Below is a chart prepared by Meet The Composer (www.meetthecomposer.org) based on research conducted in 2003. This guide lists midrange commissioning fees and can give you an idea of approximate costs.
As you can see there is quite a large range at each level. And remember, once the piece is composed, a master score and parts for the performers must also be prepared and may require the services of a professional music engraver. The costs for this have been calculated and included in the fee ranges listed above. Half of the commissioning fee is normally paid before the project begins, and the remainder paid upon receipt of the commission.
A Guide to Allan’s Commission Rates
* A standard three to four minute choral piece with or without accompaniment starts at $3000.
* Additional instruments (such as flute, violin, etc.) can be added at $100 per instrument (up to a
maximum of 5 instruments).
* Six or more instruments will be negotiated separately.
Please contact Allan Robert Petker directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 548-7260 for information regarding your specific commission request.
How long does it take a composer to write a piece of music?
Commissions are composed in the order received. It is prudent to allow 12–18 months from the signing of an agreement until the work has been completed and is ready to be given to the musicians to prepare for performance.
What else do I need to know about the commissioning process?
Your first step is to decide which voicing or instrumentation you would like in your piece (solo voice, solo instrument, choral with keyboard accompaniment, choral with orchestral accompaniment, orchestral work, etc.).
Next, a text will be needed. If this is a sacred work, you may wish to choose a passage from scripture or other sacred writing. For a secular work, a public domain poem might be your choice. If a copyrighted text is selected, securing permission to use the text and any corresponding fees are the responsibility of the commissioning party.
Who actually owns the music?
It is standard practice that the composer retains the rights to his own works, so that the legal ownership of the piece remains with the composer. However, the commissioner is acknowledged on the first page of the musical score along with any personal dedication. (“Commissioned by the First Church, Anytown, U.S.A. for John and Mary Doe in honor of their twenty years of service.) It is customary that the commissioner is given a presentation copy of the completed score, almost always specially inscribed by the composer.
Will the composer attend or conduct the premiere performance?
While it is always exciting to have the composer at the premiere performance, this service is not included in the cost of the commission. Please navigate to the Workshops and Clinics page on this site for more information.
Will the commission be published?
Although it is always the composer's hope that every commission will be published, it cannot be guaranteed. Of course, the commissioner's name is always included on the published work as well as any dedications.
For more information about commissioning a work you may wish to visit the Meet the Composer web site: http://www.meetthecomposer.org/programs/CommBasicGuide04.pdf
Recent Commissions by Allan Robert Petker:
I AM YOUR SERVANT (SATB choir, piano and flute)
Commissioned by Walnut Grove Community Presbyterian Church, California.
Commemorating forty-eight years of faithful service by Robert James, organist - choir director. (Published by Fred Bock Music Company)
BLESSED BE THE ONE (SATB choir and piano)
Commissioned by the First Congregational UCC, Santa Rosa, CA, Ron Hawks, Director.
In loving memory of Laverna Brown
(Published by John Rich Music Press)
I WILL SING (SATB choir, keyboard, brass and percussion)
Commissioned by Westminster Presbyterian Church, Oklahoma City, Dr. Kerry M. Barnett, Director
(Published by Fred Bock Music Company)
TRUE WISDOM BRINGS PEACE (SATB choir and keyboard)
Commissioned by Sierra Choral Festival and Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church, Oakhurst, California.
In honor of 20 years of faithful service by Catherine Walker, Organist - Choir Director
(Published by the H. T. FitzSimons Company)
THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD (SATB choir, organ, brass and percussion)
Commissioned by the Northern Light United Church, Juneau, Alaska, J. Allan MacKinnon, Director.
In celebration of its 30th anniversary.
(Published by Pavane Publishing)
I WILL LIFT UP MINE EYES (SATB choir and keyboard)
Commissioned by the United Christian Parish, Lakeport, California.
In appreciation of Jean Hill for forty years of faithful service
(Published by Pavane Publishing)
REJOICE IN THE LORD (SATB choir and keyboard)
Commissioned by Dean and Mary Daily, Tom Howard, Thelma Jo Landon and Dick Loveless for fifty years of friendship and singing at the First Presbyterian Church of Granada Hills, California.
(Published by Fred Bock Music Company)
FROM THE HANDS OF GOD (SATB choir and keyboard)
Commissioned by Dr. John Nylund for his wife, Joan, Music Director of Trinity Presbyterian Church, at Oroville, California, in honor of their 40th wedding anniversary.
MORE THAN YOU CAN KNOW (SATB choir and keyboard)
Commissioned by the children and grandchildren of Marian Claussen on the occasion of her 80th birthday.
THE FRUIT OF LOVE IS JOY (SATB choir, piano and trumpet)
Commissioned by Bob Frembling and dedicated to the people that the Lord brought into his life to be a source of great joy: wife, Bryana, daughters, Heidi and Candice, their husbands, Chris and Dick, and grandchildren, Bryan, Andrew, John and Abbey.
LIVE IN THE LIGHT OF GOD (SATB choir, piano and trumpet)
Commissioned by Reformation Lutheran Church, Westminster, California in recognition of 46 years of Christian witness, and composed for the 2009 dedication of the Church's new Sanctuary: "Building in Christ."
Russell Lackey, Pastor; Priscilla Silver, Director of Music Ministry.
HUSH (SSA Choir and handbells)
Commissioned by Margaret Armstrong, to the women of "Grace," Trinity Lutheran Church, Hawthorne, California.