Aaron Copland Fund For Music Recording Program
The goals of the American Music Center’s Program is to document and provide wider exposure for the music of contemporary American composers; to develop audiences for contemporary American music through record distribution and other retail markets; and to support the release and dissemination of recordings of previously unreleased contemporary American music. The Fund also supports the reissuance of recordings that are no longer available. Proposals may be submitted by nonprofit professional performance ensembles, presenting institutions, and nonprofit or commercial recording companies. Performance ensembles and presenting institutions must include a letter of intent from a recording company.
The Program’s Objectives
- To document and provide wider exposure for the music of contemporary American composers
- To develop audiences for contemporary American music through distribution of recorded performances in physical and online media
- To support the production of new recordings of contemporary American music and the reissuance of significant recordings that are no longer available
Who is eligible
Proposals may be submitted by non-profit professional performance ensembles, presenting institutions and non-profit or commercial recording companies. Non-professionals and students are not eligible.
Projects sponsored by universities and similar educational institutions are not eligible. For instances in which a proposal is made in support of an independent professional ensemble in residence at a university, but the ensemble does not have separate 501(c)(3) status, the university may serve as the fiscal sponsor, but the ensemble shall be the applicant.
Any applicant who, as of the deadline date, has one or more Recording Program grants that have been paid but that have not been released within two years after receiving funds will not be eligible to apply for a Recording Program grant, unless the applicant has received a written waiver from the Fund. Please address inquiries to the Grants Manager.
Because this program is extremely competitive, the Fund will not accept multiple proposals in the same round from organizations other than recording companies.
What is eligible
The Fund favors first recordings. However, reissues of significant recordings are eligible only if the music is not available from any other sources, such as ArkivMusic, Amazon, or other internet services at the time of application. Grants will not be made solely for the pressing or reprinting of additional CDs by the same label. In general, the Copland Fund does not support the reissuance of projects initially supported by the Fund.
Compositions for the proposed recording must be completed by the application deadline.
Grants will not be made for the purpose of commissions to composers.
In general, grants will not exceed $20,000. Grants will generally not exceed 50% of the total project costs.
Once awarded, all grants are subject to the following conditions and timetable:
- Funds will be disbursed upon receipt of written certification from the grantee that all other funding for a project has been secured, along with a list of the sources and amounts of funding
- A grantee may request an advance disbursement upon submission of confirmation of studio dates and estimates and/or invoices detailing the cost of the following items, provided that those items were part of the original grant request and itemized in the project budget, even if all the funding for the project has not yet been secured:
- studio time
- producer and engineer fees
- The amount disbursed in advance will be at the discretion of the Fund’s staff based upon submitted documentation, but will generally not exceed 50% of the total grant award
- A grantee receiving advance disbursement may request the balance of the award upon presenting certification that the funds needed to complete the project have been secured from other sources
- The recording must be released within two years after the date of the first (or only) payment
During this time, annual IRS expenditure responsibility forms may be required.
If the funds are not requested within two years, or if the recording(s) is not released within two years of payment of the grant, the Fund reserves the right to cancel the grant.
How to Apply
Only applicants invited to apply after submitting an approved proposal to the Preliminary Round may submit a full application to the Recording Program
If your organization already has an account on our site:
Then click on the “Start Application” button at the top of this page to begin the online application process. You may work on your proposal and save it as you go along. It is not necessary to complete the application in one session.
All applicants must supply the following information:
- Contact information
- For non-profit applicants, a copy of the IRS determination letter confirming tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and that the applicant is not a private foundation. If the applicant organization is not based in the United States, submit a letter from a lawyer confirming its equivalence to a publicly funded 501(c)(3) organization.
- Federal tax ID number (all American applicants, whether non-profit or commercial)
- 3-year financial summary
Scores: Please submit one complete score for each work on the proposed project, in PDF format.
When a score corresponds with an audio example (see below), clearly mark the page of the PDF at which the listening example begins.
Audio examples (All audio excerpts should be continuous, uncut excerpts): Please submit 3-to-5 minute audio excerpts, as follows:
- For each composer, submit up to three contrasting samples of music to be recorded that you feel most fairly represent the works on the project
- For a project of the works of three or more composers: Submit up to a maximum of five samples of which each sample should be music of a different composer. The samples should fairly represent the range of works on the project
- Please note that for your proposal to be eligible, you must submit an audio sample of the performers who will record this project regardless of what other samples are submitted. For multiple performers, submit one sample per performer/ensemble to a maximum of three. If your repertoire samples are by one or more of the performers who will record the project, you need submit additional samples only for those performers on the project who do not appear on your repertoire samples, to a maximum of three performer samples (including those that are also repertoire samples)
For each proposed work, audio excerpts should be one of the following, in descending order of preference:
- the final master of the proposed work
- a recording of the proposed work other than the final master (such as a live performance or rough edit), performed by the same performers as proposed for the project
- recording of the proposed work performed by different performers than proposed for the project*
- a demo of the proposed work (such as a MIDI realization or a performance of the piano reduction)*
- a recording of another work by the composer composed around the same time as the proposed work and preferably in a genre similar to that of the proposed work (if this work is performed by performers other than those proposed for the project, see *)
*for options 3 through 5, an additional 3-to-5 minute example of the proposed performers must also be submitted (please submit separately)
The Fund does not require applicants to submit final masters to be eligible to apply to the Recording Program. However, if a final master is available, it should be submitted.
If the project incorporates video, submit a final master or rough cut of the video, if one exists. If video has not been created yet, submit an example that represents the production quality of the person or team primarily responsible for the video element (i.e., the videographer, producer, director, etc.).
Video examples are intended to demonstrate video production quality, not to demonstrate a musical work, and should be submitted in addition to audio examples, not in lieu of them (except in the case of a final master of the DVD, in which video alone will suffice).
Please save your work often.
- November 15, 2018: Preliminary Round deadline
- December 15, 2018: Preliminary Round notification via e-mail; invitation to apply
- February 15, 2019: Invitation Application Deadline
Applicants will be notified of funding decisions in or about June of that year. Please do not contact the Fund for information on funding decisions.