HHO New Music Project
Supporting Houston Composers and Composition Students
Beginning in late January, the Houston Heights Orchestra will host occasional reading sessions for new orchestral works at any stage of completion. We welcome submissions from composers of all stripes - amateur, professional, student. While there is always a possibility that a work may be selected for later performance, this project is for reading sessions only. This is not a competition, but rather an opportunity for a wide range of composers to get laboratory-type experience with live players.
Reading sessions last 30 minutes and will take place at 7.30pm on selected Monday nights at All Saints Catholic Church, 215 E. 10th St. Composers are not required to be present, but it is strongly recommended for those who are local.
All composers whose works are read will receive:
- written feedback from players
- verbal and/or written feedback from the Artistic and Music Director
- verbal and/or written feedback from the Composer-in-Residence
- a video recording (subject to logistical contingencies)
- publicity on the HHO website
- publicity on the HHO Facebook page
- free bagels (for those who come to rehearsal at 7pm only)
Composers should fill in the form below and submit transposed, PDF scores to HHONewMusic@gmail.com to be considered.
If your piece is selected, please be prepared to provide a printed and (functionally, not artfully) bound score and printed parts. Parts will be returned to local composers in person, long-distance composers should include an SASE if they wish the parts returned. If printed parts are not available, the HHO will print parts at the composer's expense (around $10-$20) and the parts will be returned to the composer upon request.
- Composers of all levels are eligible and welcome to submit scores.
- The current usual instrumentation of the HHO is:
4 Flutes, 3 oboes, 4 clarinets, 3 bassoons, 2 horns, 1 trumpet, 1 trombone, timpani, small string section
- Scores that utilize any combination of our personnel are welcome. An occasional additional player or two can usually be found (such as piano, harp, or tuba), but a full heavy brass section or significant percussion is generally not an option. We are happy to read scores even when we can't cover every part, or have parts covered by the wrong instrument.
- Though we hope to promote and support new orchestral music through this project, we are open to reading works for any combination of 6 or more players, including wind-section pieces, and Pierrot/Histoire ensemble pieces.
Please note that, though this is not a competition, not all submissions will be accepted for reading. The Artistic Director, in consultation with the Composer-in-Residence, will decide which submissions will be read by the orchestra. Scores will be selected based on the following criteria:
1. Appropriateness to our ensemble. We are a mixed group of amateurs, professionals, and students. In order to be selected, a piece must be accessible to a wide range of players.
2. Due to the limited time of the reading sessions, pieces or portions of pieces submitted should last approximately 15 minutes. Movements or sections of a larger piece are acceptable.
3. Preference will be given to composers who can conduct the reading sessions themselves. Though a composer's inability to conduct or be present does not disqualify a their work, the logistics of the orchestra make it preferable for the composer to be present and conduct the reading session. Please note that selected scores may be paired with a guest conductor for the reading session, should the composer not wish to conduct.
Remember, we are an orchestra dedicated to the fun of making music and not a professional orchestra. These reading sessions are mostly for learning purposes. Please do not plan to use a recording of the session for audition or promotional purposes, though you are welcome to, should the reading go very well.
Composers are always welcome to visit rehearsals, ask the players questions, and generally hang out with the gang. Just get in touch!