Morehouse College Department of Music
Sub-Saharan Africa Commissioning Project

The Music Department invites Sub-Saharan African composers living in Ghana, Kenya, or Nigeria to submit applications for our third commission.

This commission celebrates the Glee Club’s tradition of performing African choral music under the direction of Wendell Whalum, Uzee Brown, Jr., and David Morrow. Our third commission follows two excellent commissions in 2018 (offered with matching support from Pi Kappa Lambda, National Music Honor Society) by Dr. Laz Ekwueme, and 2017, by Mr. Jude Nwankwo.

Applications are due on October 15, 2018. During the month of October, one applicant will be selected to write a 3-5 minute piece for TTBB (male-voice) choir on secular themes in one of over 1000 Niger-Congo languages. The piece will be premiered by the Morehouse College Glee Club at their annual concert in 2019.

Eligibility requirement

  • Ghanaian, Kenyan, and Nigerian citizens currently residing in their country
  • Domiciliary account for honorarium payment in US dollars

Timeline

  • August 15, 2018: Call for applications issued
  • October 15, 2018: Application deadline
  • October 2018: Adjudication by music department panel
  • November 1, 2018 (or sooner): Announcement of commission recipient
  • December 10, 2018: Deadline for receipt of musical score, performance instructions (including pronunciation) and program notes
  • February 2019: Premiere of commissioned work

Description of commissioned work

  • 3-5 minutes in duration
  • TTBB (four-part for male-voice choir)
  • No keyboard accompaniment, optional percussion
  • Text in a Sub-Saharan African language of the Niger-Congo Family listed in Ethnologue 
  • Literal translation and program notes

Application materials

  • All materials submitted by email to musiccommission@morehouse.edu
  • Brief résumé (highlighting musical composition experience)
  • Sample work (recordings and scores up to 10 minutes)
  • Text of the work to be commissioned (must be in a Sub-Saharan African language of the Niger-Congo Family on secular themes and include a literal English translation)
  • Letter of recommendation (submitted by referee)

Review process

The review committee will consist of Morehouse College music faculty with expertise in the areas of vocal music, composition and West African music; it will be chaired by Dr. David Morrow, conductor of the Morehouse College Glee Club.

The committee reserves the right to withhold the commission if, in the opinion of the panel, there are no applicants that are deemed qualified to complete the project. In the event that no commission is made, a new call for applications will be issued in 2019.                                 

Incentives to commissioned composer

  • $1000 honorarium
  • Guaranteed performance by Morehouse College Glee Club (including video and audio recording)
  • Invitation letter to attend the performance
  • Recommendation of the piece to music publishers (acknowledgement of commission required and Morehouse College Glee Club maintains the right to perform the work royalty-free indefinitely)

For more information, contact musiccommission@morehouse.edu