PROJECT : ENCORE was created in response to a problem long recognized by composers: That of acquiring post-premiere performances of worthy compositions. Artistic Director and Founder of Schola Cantorum on Hudson, Dr. Deborah Simpkin King, became increasingly concerned about this difficulty as she worked with composers of pieces premiered by SCH in interesting other conductors in mounting additional performances of these compositions following their successful premiere.
Although this post-premiere compositional conundrum is not new, it is, without doubt, intensified at this particular time by changes in the publishing industry, the veritable (and marvelous!) explosion of self-publishing efforts at the hands of a wide array of compositional experience, and the virtual disappearance of music retailers that carry meaningful shelf-stock. The marketing of new work is increasingly coming to rely on convention-packaged materials, limiting both reach and variety. At stake is nothing less than the potential loss of many beautiful, compelling, and powerful new works that have every right to be welcomed into standard performance repertory, where they can follow happily upon the heels of their premiere performances, even once the headline cachet of “premiere” has been spent.
We embrace change as a fresh opportunity rather than perceiving it as a threat. Hence, the birth of PROJECT : ENCORE in June of 2009. Options and opportunities are rapidly growing for the marvelous life-impact of the Arts to abound, flourish, and increase in visibility to the nourishment of us all!
Art in its many forms both emerges from and speaks to the depth of the human soul, with language often penetrating in ways beyond the capacity of words. The common notion of music as a universal language taps into this understanding. Through our many premiere performances we give voice to our belief in the absolute need for viable ongoing compositional activity.
Our interest in helping the many wonderful choral compositions we have been honored to premiere take flight in the choral repertoire, via performances beyond our own, was the genesis of our searchable database that we proudly call PROJECT : ENCORE. Premiered, but not yet widely performed; submitted, then vetted by a prestigious pool of conductors; then if approved, placed into the PROJECT : ENCORE catalog and made available for discovery by conductors and organizations internationally.
This is PROJECT : ENCORE. Reports of each new success story, in which a composition is discovered and programmed through discovery via PROJECT : ENCORE, convinces us anew that the symbolism underlying our logo is just right: The butterfly — symbol throughout the ages of rebirth for the soul . . . interwoven with elements of music notation — suggesting repeat performance.
Deborah Simpkin King, P:E Director and Founder