St. Mary's University Music Department, Winona, Minnesota

Kaplan Commissioning Project
Saint Mary’s University Concert Band

Submissions for 9th Kaplan Commission Now Being Accepted

About the Kaplan Commission Project:

In 1998, The Helen and Sam Kaplan Foundation provided Saint Mary’s University with a gift to create an ongoing Jewish cultural exchange.  Since them approximately every two years (The first premiere in 2000) the Saint Mary’s Concert Band has commissioned a work by a Jewish composer based on Jewish thematic materials. 

The selected composer spends 3-5 days in residency working with the ensemble, presenting in classes and meeting individually with students interested in music composition during the week of the premiere. The residency is tailored to the strengths and interests of the selected composer.

Amount of Commission: 

$7,000.00 plus travel/expense allowance for a campus visit at the premier of the composition. 

Description of the Composition:

The work will be scored for standard Concert Band instrumentation, appropriate difficulty level for advanced high school bands and collegiate ensembles.

Length of composition: approximately 5-8 minutes in length, at a level appropriate for student/amateur musicians.  (Publishers grade level 3-5)

The composition must be based on Jewish melodic or thematic material, either folk or religious sources.

Applications will begin summer of 2017 for the next commission, all materials are due by October 1st, 2017. Details are also posted on the the American Composer’s Forum web site and related Jewish cultural/musical web sites.

This marks the ninth Kaplan Commission presented by the Saint Mary’s Concert Band, directed by Dr. Janet Heukeshoven. 

Previous commissioned composers include:

2000 Steven Barnett: Halleil: O Praise the Lord, for concert band
2002 Lee Kesselman: Let Peace Descend, for choir and wind ensemble
2004 Philip Rothman: Departure Point, for solo piano and wind ensemble
2006 Judith Lang-Zaimont: Israeli Rhapsody, for concert band
2008 Marc Kibrick Bernstein: Ashkenazi Fathers, for jazz combo and band
2010 Paul Richards: If You Could Only See the Frog, for concert band
2012 Larry Bitensky: Katanya, for concert band and narrator
2015 Steven Rosenhaus: Ayshet Chayil, for concert band and baritone voice

The composer will provide SMU a full score and one set of parts.  Additional duplication of parts as needed for the ensemble will be the responsibility of the university.

The composer retains all copyrights and will acknowledge SMU’s role in the commission of the composition upon future publication and/or distribution. 

The SMU Concert Band will present the premier performance at a mutually agreed upon concert date during the 2018-19 academic year. The composer will have the opportunity to conduct the premier performance if desired.

Application process and deadline:

Interested Jewish composers must send the following:

If you wish to have printed materials returned send a SASE for return of scores and recordings.

Application deadline for the 2017 Commission is October 1st, 2017.
Performance date will be negotiated with the selected composer.     

Email application documents to

 Any printed scores/media should be sent to:

Dr. Janet Heukeshoven
Kaplan Commission Project Chair
Saint Mary’s University Music Department
700 Terrace Heights #58
Winona, MN 55987-1399

Please contact Dr. Janet Heukeshoven with any questions regarding this opportunity, please help spread the word to composers who are of Jewish heritage.