From the Basement to the Stage: How to Get Your Works Performed!

February 22, 2015

As part of the research for my Canadian Trombone Project, I have uncovered a few interesting statistics:

First of all, I have found 243 Canadian works for solo trombone, which is fantastic! Keep up the good work, composers and commissioners! And thanks to everyone who filled out the submission form on my website. Several composers have written more than one piece, but a total of 160 unique composers have written for the trombone (141 men, 19 women). Of these 160 individuals, 110 are CMC Associates. These CMC composers account for 169 solo trombone works, but guess what?

Only 74 of these are available from the CMC Library!!!

That means 95 works by CMC Associates are not available at the CMC. Since only 18 of these are published, that leaves 77 works in kind of a state of oblivion, only accessible by those who happen to know about the piece and go to the trouble of tracking it down directly from the composer. I don't have statistics on this, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that a work is MUCH more likely to be performed if it is available in the CMC Library rather than in a box in the composer's basement!

So, composers, although the bibliography I am working on will help performers find out about the works that are out there, I think there is still a better chance of people playing your pieces if they can obtain them easily through the CMC. Although there are likely a myriad of reasons why these works aren't in the library, I suspect the number one reason is that you simply haven't gotten around to putting them there. Again, I don't have statistics on this - maybe I'm wrong... I also suspect this situation is not unique to trombone repertoire!

In any case, I'd like to take this opportunity to encourage you composers to deposit your 'missing' works in the library. Like you, I want to see your works get performed!

Yours in Canadian music,
Dale Sorensen