Motivated by the desire to give students of composition at American universities the best possible chance to hear their own music, and to have quality recordings of their works to use in the advancement of their careers, a team of professional composer mentors and musicians is designing a new project that is coming your way: Your Music Bus.
Your Music Bus is a service-oriented ensemble of flexible size and instrumentation that comes through your town on a dedicated student readings tour. A visit from Your Music Bus can be as simple as a coaching session with a professional mentor for your student ensemble as they read student works, or it can be a full residency including a sinfonietta-size ensemble reading and recording session, with conductor and composer mentors and master classes, at your school. The main criterion is that the activities of the Your Music Bus ensemble center exclusively around music written by your students.
The founders of Your Music Bus are composers and performers with long track records of working with young composers and creating new work. Collectively they have taught composition at many of the country’s leading institutions, including Yale School of Music, Eastman School of Music and UC San Diego, the New York Youth Symphony Making Score program, and the Minnesota Orchestra Composers Institute, founded by Kernis. They serve together on the board of the MATA Festival in NYC, of which Bielawa is one of the founders.
The musicians who will journey to your school on Your Music Bus include members of vital NYC new music groups like The Knights, ACME, and Alarm Will Sound. Though all of them actively tour and perform with their own groups, their work with Your Music Bus will be dedicated entirely to your students’ works, and to sharing their combined professional expertise with your school community.
Each school can custom-design its own package from among a list of options that can be combined in any format: student works reading session; student works recording session; student instrumentalists coaching sessions; composer mentor visits with Kernis and/or Bielawa; master classes. In addition, schools that can offer superior facilities for recording offer to share these facilities with nearby schools, for a discount on the services provided. Transportation costs for the Bus are included in the cost of the visit. Housing accommodations must be arranged separately, but may be shared with other schools in the region. As with recording facilities, housing accommodations may be extended while Your Music Bus visits other universities in the region, for a discount on the total package cost.