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Submission Period

Dec 1, 2024 - Jan 20, 2025

Submission Categories
  • Amorsima Trio (violin, viola, and cello)
  • Duo Per Se (piano and clarinet) 
  • Trio Mélange (soprano, horn, and piano)

  • Delamo Duo (single reeds and keyboard percussion)

  • Brass Ensemble (trio, quartet, or quintet)

  • Percussion Ensemble (up to 6)

  • Solo or Mixed Ensemble (flute, oboe, bassoon, all clarinets/saxophones, trumpet, horn, trombone, tuba, percussion, piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, soprano, mezzo-soprano, baritone)

  • Digital Media - two-channel with or without video; with or without live performers

  • Live Improvisatory Self-Performed - acoustic, electronic, or combined allowed; maximum performers: 3 (composer must be a performer)

  • Installation Works - self-contained works of sound art, sound sculptures, sonic multimedia, or related works; these works can be continuous, looping, interactive, etc., but should not be site-specific and should be suitable for exhibition in both galleries and non-traditional exhibition spaces.

Digital Media Guidelines

  • We can provide two-channel playback and video playback; composers are responsible for providing all other technical requirements/needs. Feel free to contact us about the possibility of our assistance in meeting additional requirements.

  • For works without a score, a recording must be submitted.

  • For Live Improvisatory works, a written explanation of the improvisation path (one-page maximum uploaded under program notes) as well as a recording of the work (or a recording of a previous work using a similar process) must be submitted.

  • For Installation works, a project description (one-page maximum uploaded under program notes) and any other applicable supporting documentation must be submitted.

  • For all Digital works, a document listing all technical requirements must be submitted.

Other Guidelines​​

  • In order to have a piece performed, all composers must be present in person, or online if selected for one of our five virtual spots.*

  • Pieces of any length are eligible, but priority will be given to pieces under 15 minutes.

  • Works composed within the previous five years are encouraged.

  • Composers must be able to provide computer-generated parts for performers as PDF files.

  • All submitted scores should be transposing scores if transposing instruments are used.

  • For purposes of impartiality during the judging process for the Black Bayou Composition Award,
    composers’ names must be removed from the score and all other related materials.

  • On the submission form, you will have the option of including a link to a recording (live or electronically generated); to be included in the adjudication process for the Black Bayou Composition Award, the recording must also be anonymous, i.e. no names in the file or on profiles such as SoundCloud in which the composer could be identified.

  • An announcement of the Festival Selections will be posted to our website on March 3, 2025.

Since a goal of NMB is to connect local members with outside artists and ideas, we require that composers attend in person. However, a desire to expand opportunities for our community and the composition community, has caused us to create five slots for virtual attendees. Though open to all, preference will be given to international applicants. Virtual participants will be asked: 1) to connect with performers online during the rehearsal phase of their work; 2) to attend all available NMB online concerts; and 3) to give a short presentation in real time or with prerecorded video during the festival.

Black Bayou Composition Award
The Black Bayou Composition Award will be presented to the piece “that best reflects the connection between music and nature.” This award is sponsored in part by Friends of Black Bayou, and will be adjudicated by composers and performers outside of the festival staff. It will be our assumption that composers who have not anonymized their submission materials do not wish to be considered for the award. The winner will receive $500 and a commission for next year's festival. Two runners-up will receive $100 each.

Travel and Lodging
Following our announcement of the Festival Selections, we will publish a travel guide that includes hotel(s) with a special rate and a transportation schedule for our free shuttle.


Travel Scholarships

Two $1000 travel scholarships will be provided in order to encourage a broad spectrum of diversity at the festival. Applications are due on or before March 30 and can be submitted by clicking here. Recipients will be notified by email on April 13. The purpose of the scholarships are to bolster participation by underrepresented communities, whether defined by gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, or other. One of the scholarships will be specifically designated for a Black composer to address historical and systemic racial inequality in the field of American composition. This scholarship was approved in June 2020. Our Statement on Equality can be found here.

Professional audio recordings will be provided at no charge to composers after the festival. New Music on the Bayou reserves the right to use recordings and images from the festival on our website and promotional materials.

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