Call for Scores

Submission Deadline: 12 noon Mountain Time / 2 pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, January 3, 2024


The College Music Society (CMS) is pleased to announce its 67th National Conference in Washington, D.C., November 7-9, 2024, in conjunction with the 2024 National Conference of the Association for Technology in Music Instruction (ATMI), the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI), and Pi Kappa Lambda (PKL).

CMS’s 2024 Conference Theme is “Advancing Democracy: Empowering Action Through Music.” Continuing to uphold and advance the College Music Society’s commitment to leading change, the 2024 Conference aims to explore musical leadership through the broad lens of democracy in action through our teaching, research, performance, and lives, now and into the future.

The 2024 Program Committee welcomes submissions of original works to be performed during one or more special concerts during the conference. Composers must either perform their own works or provide their own performer(s). The Committee solicits the broadest representation of our profession and its interests and welcomes submissions from all, including those (a) in academia (full-time and adjunct faculty, community college faculty, students, and retired faculty), (b) in the music industry, and (c) active as independent musicians and scholars. In addition to continuing to accept proposals and compositions in line with prior CMS submissions, the 2024 Conference is also accepting submissions for film scoring and laptop compositions. The Program Committee particularly encourages, and will give priority to, proposals that: 

  1. Provide examples of and showcase a wide perspective of musical democracy in action, including community projects, new pedagogical approaches, surveys, research, and performances; 
  2. Promote ethical scholarship, performance, and teaching musical cultures of marginalized populations, particularly Indigenous, Black, and LGBTQIA individuals;
  3. Welcome all musical voices into CMS conversations, including those from the fields of Jazz, Contemporary and Commercial Music, Music of the Americas, African American music, Electronic Music, Film Music, Musical Theater, and Wellness (including music therapy, music as care, and music within disability studies);
  4. Propose methods of sustaining curricular diversification and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, during a time when the viability of those initiatives is in question;
  5. Provide ways for musicians, whether engaging with music as a seasoned professional or impassioned amateur, to meaningfully engage with unique learning, critical thinking, and professional development opportunities; and 
  6. Elevate presentations and conference delivery formats by rethinking how we can engage audiences through participation, playfulness, and music-making.



  • Proposed works for solo instruments, one piano (two or more hands), small ensembles, jazz ensembles, 2-channel electronic and electro-acoustics must be 7 minutes or less in duration. Presentations requiring two pianos will not be considered; however, single piano works for 4-hands are welcome.
  • Singer-songwriter works are highly encouraged and must be 4 minutes or less in duration. Lyrics must be clean, without offensive language.
  • Cross-genre works, commercial music genres, and other non-western music genres/instrumentation are highly encouraged and must be 4 minutes or less in duration.
  • Proposals that embody the conference theme of “Advancing Democracy: Empowering Action Through Music,” are especially welcomed, as are works that use improvisation or celebrate non-European musical traditions. 
  • Compositions performed at previous CMS National Conferences are not eligible for consideration. 
  • Alternative compositional/performance techniques such as solo and/or group improvisation and open musical forms are welcome. 
  • Compositions utilizing electronic media will be considered contingent upon the availability of technical resources on site. Presenters must provide their own computer or tablet and interface for any needed audio or video playback. 
  • Prior to submission, composers must communicate with their performers regarding their interests and availability. Proposals that do not list all performers will be deemed incomplete and will not be considered. Composers may wish to refer to the online CMS Player’s Roster to locate performers who have volunteered their services for this conference.
  • All composers whose work is selected for inclusion in the program are expected to register for, and attend, the entire conference. They will be expected to register by early summer 2024. Performers, who may or may not be members of CMS, are not expected to register for the conference unless they wish to, but their attendance will be limited to the concert and any rehearsals if they do not register. 
  • The only instrument provided at the conference will be a piano; all other instruments, including percussion, must be provided by the composer or performer. Pianos may not be prepared or altered in any way, including the insertion of objects into or onto the strings. 
  • Two-channel amplification will be provided; all other electronic equipment must be provided by the composer. Component DVD or CD players are unavailable; thus, presenters must provide their own computer or tablet for any needed audio or video playback. 
  • A basic backline will be provided if needed (bass amp, guitar amp, mic, piano, drumkit), but composers/performers are highly encouraged to provide their own, if possible. Please make these needs known to CMS conference planners no later than two months prior to the conference. 
  • Composers must be willing to have their works performed on any day of the conference should their proposal be accepted. 
  • The College Music Society does not fund the travel expenses of accepted presenters or performers. 
  • Proposers must submit their own work and may not submit proposals on behalf of their students or others.
  • Proposals of a commercial nature that promote products and services will not be considered.
  • If the program must be moved from an in-person to an online venue for any reason, the Program Committee reserves the right to request that presenters alter the duration and structure of their presentations to better accommodate the virtual format. 


Film Scoring Submission Guidelines:

Composers must score one or two of the clips provided here. When submitting your music, please adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Sample rate should be 44k/16 bit WAV file
  2. Send ONLY music. Do not send back any audio from video. 
  3. Do not use any uncleared samples.
  4. Music should be at a consistent full volume. No volume automation to match picture cuts. We will handle music levels against picture, after submission. 
  5. Left bounce/export must match first frame of video. Right bounce/export marker must match last frame of video.


Laptop Composition Exhibition Guidelines:

Composers who are unable to provide a live performance of their work can submit to showcase their work in the Laptop Composition Exhibition. Composers will need to provide their own laptop or iPad and a set of headphones where attendees can listen to the composer's work as they walk around the exhibit hall. Composers must stand by their designated laptop area in case attendees have questions about the work. Composers must also display an electronic score or DAW session on their laptop so attendees can follow along with the composer's work while also listening to it. All music genres are welcomed.



  • Composers must be current members of The College Music Society at the time of submission. Persons interested in submitting a proposal should check their membership status well in advance of the submission deadline. Please note the processing time for membership applications and/or renewals is 1–2 business days. 



  • Each member may submit only ONE proposal in response to this Call for Compositions.
  • Each member may submit TWO proposals to all Calls for this conference (e.g., one score with composer- supplied performer + one paper), provided there is no duplication. The same score may not be submitted to both Calls for original compositions.
  • If a member submits more than one proposal to the conference, each submission should be unique and content may not be duplicated, either in response to this Call or any Calls for this conference, including proposals submitted to ATMI, NACWPI, and/or PKL. 
  • Each member may be added by others as a co-presenter (e.g., panelist or accompanist) to a maximum of TWO proposals.
  • The maximum number of presentations in which a member may be involved on the conference program is TWO. If more than two proposals involving the same member are accepted – regardless of whether the member submitted the proposal or was added to another member’s proposal – the individual in question must choose in which two presentations they will participate. 
  • Submitters may not send the same or very similar proposals to both CMS and 2024 National Conference partner organizations (ATMI, NACWPI, and PKL).



  • Electronic submissions are required. Proposals sent by mail will not be considered. 
  • To support the anonymous review process, the name(s) or affiliation(s) of anyone involved in the presentation should not appear on the score or parts, in program notes, or in the file names of submitted audio samples. Proposals identifying the composer or collaborators will be disqualified. Names and affiliations may, however, appear in the “Personnel” section of the proposal and in submitted biographies, as the review committee will not have access to this part of the application. 
  • The College Music Society’s conference submission process is powered by Submittable. To submit a proposal, please (1) log in to the CMS members-only website using your username and password and then (2) click the ‘Submit’ button at the bottom of this Call. You will be directed to Submittable to complete your proposal. If you don’t already have a Submittable account, you will be prompted to establish one. (Click here for help using Submittable and to view a list of Frequently Asked Questions.)

A complete proposal includes:

  1. The composition’s title, instrumentation, and duration, rounding up to the nearest half minute. 
  1. A representation of the composition in one of the following formats:

    a. A PDF copy of the full score and individual parts (anonymous; dedications and/or commissions should be redacted on the score for anonymous peer review). Multi-movement scores should be merged into a single PDF file, as should all parts.

    b. For those works that are not represented in the score format as noted above, please provide a description of the conceptual framework used in the realization of the composition. 
  1. An anonymous digital recording of the work (please erase the metadata that is automatically saved with the file). MIDI file/software-synthesis realizations are acceptable. Most audio file formats are supported within Submittable.

  2. Program notes (not to exceed 250 words).

  3. A list of required equipment (Internet connections are not guaranteed).

  4. A brief biography of the composer (not to exceed 250 words).

  5. Name of the performing ensemble, if applicable.

  6. Performer biographies:

    a. If the work will be presented by a named ensemble, a biography of ensemble must be included (not to exceed 250 words). Ensemble biographies may briefly address the achievements of each ensemble member; however, separate biographies of each individual performer are not requested in this case.

    b. If the work will not be presented by a named ensemble, biographies of individual performers should be included (not to exceed 250 words per person).

  7. Contact details for all performers, including an email address, mailing address, and phone number for each person, as well as an institutional affiliation, if applicable. 


Submissions that do not conform to the above guidelines will not be considered.


Proposals must be submitted by 12 noon Mountain Time on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024.

Proposers will be notified of their status by Thursday, March 28th, 2024.



Questions regarding this Call should be directed to: 

Rachel Roberts, 2024 Program Chair


Questions concerning conference operations should be directed to:

Charlie Chadwell, CMS Conference Planner