Sara Kirkland Snider ~ Composer of Music

Winner of Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Lebenbom Memorial Award!

Unknown-1I’m honored and thrilled to share that I was named the 7th annual winner of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award. I will compose a work for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra that will be given its world premiere under DSO Conductor Leonard Slatkin in the ’15-16 season. While I’ve spent the past couple years writing for voice and orchestra, I’ve been eager to focus on writing for orchestra alone, and I grew up listening to lots of recordings by both the DSO and Slatkin, so this news really had me quite beside myself.

Here’s to applying for things. I can’t say I’ve been great at following this advice myself, and I still fully believe that winning a competition is not a conferral of anything other than good fortune — your work having found the right audience in whoever happened to be on the panel at that time. But it’s pretty safe to say that if you don’t apply, you won’t win. I applied for this competition only because I’d served on an ASCAP task-force on female composers days before the deadline, during which we discussed the tendency of female composers not to apply for competitions. Feeling somewhat sheepish about the fact that I myself hadn’t applied for anything in six or seven years, I went home, updated my C.V. and Fedexed my application. I then genuinely forgot about it until a year later, when I found myself wondering why someone from the DSO had left a message on my voicemail.

You really never know. And winning is not the only possible good outcome: panelists who hear your work and like it will remember you for other opportunities. So yeah: apply for things, folks. Especially you, my compositrice sistren.

Here is the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s press release.

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