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Commissioning New Works

GALA choruses have been leaders in commissioning new music for over two decades. Commissioning new music gives choruses a chance to work directly with living composers in creating a work of art that can be shared and performed many times. It also allows LGBT choruses to work with texts that directly speak to our mission or experiences as GLBT individuals.

In preparing for your commission plan carefully to select text, a strong composer and to clarify your expectations and parameters in order to commission a strong piece of music that has a life beyond the première.

View our newest GALA Commission Consortium project at the bottom of this page, and check out GALA's accompanying curriculum resources for Classrooms and Conversation.

We Hold These Names Sacred - GALA Commission Consortium

Artists: Mari Esabel Valverde & Dane Figueroa Edidi

Did you know that “The senseless killing of trans women is a rampant problem in American society"? (source: Marsha P. Johnson Institute)

Vision of the Work:

The first in a series of choral pieces addressing the epidemic of violence, especially murders, of transgender women and in particular trans women of color (TWOC). We hope that this work inspires conversations aimed at cultivating intentional solidarity with TWOC with a work created by two trans women of color. The vision is that this composition will eventually become one movement in a larger work. According to our artistic collaborators: “It’s not just one work. It’s a movement. It’s not just about honoring lives. It’s about saving lives.”

Length = 4 minutes
SATB, SSAA andTTBB voicings available
Text by Dane Figueroa Edidi
Music by Mari Esabel Valverde

Extension and Activism

Conversation surrounding the experiences of trans woman of color is necessary and can be extremely powerful in education and activism, including:

  • Encouraging GALA commissioning choirs to partner with local organizations, schools, communities of faith, etc. to rehearse, educate, dialogue and perform this commission together. GALA can help facilitate connections between high-school/collegiate choirs and GALA LGBTQ Choruses,
  • E-activism involving the distribution of your premiere video/audio recording,
  • Educational materials for participating choruses and collaborations.

Cost: Commissioning choruses pay a sliding fee of $300-750 to support the commission process. Includes score and curriculum for high school singers. This commission is offered free of charge to any trans chorus.

Join the Commission Consortium! 27 chorus are currently participating in this commission consortium. To request to join this project, click here (Google form).

For more information, contact Jane Ramseyer Miller.

“Try to give a composer a bit of flexibility, especially with text if possible, since it can spark musical ideas. Also be clear about the range/ability of your choral ensemble! Send the composer a copy of any press notices and programs. And a thank-you card signed by the singers is still a nice thing. ”

- Marian Dolan, conductor

GALA Festival 2016 Song list

See the Repertoire resource page for a spreadsheet of music performed at Festival 2016 including publisher and composer contacts. Commissioned works are tracked.