Performance: Friday, November 15, 2019

Venue: Lincoln Recital Hall (room 75) at Portland State University

Submission Deadline: 11:59 PM PDT, Monday, August 26, 2019

Eligibility: All Cascadia members in good standing for 2019

Instrumentation: Cascadia composer and mezzo-soprano Lisa Neher will be featured as performer in approximately half the program. Please see below for more info, and advice on writing for her. In addition, Cascadia will pay for up to three performers per work, in return for a fee not to exceed $125 from each selected composer. Purely instrumental works are equally welcome. Sorry, no electronics this time. Additional musicians may be included at the composer’s expense. (Composers may be required to assist in lining up performers for very unusual instruments and paying any associated unusual expenses.)

Lisa says, please see (for the long but informative version):

In short: I am a lyric mezzo soprano. Range: G3-Bb5. Preferred range for most notes: B3-G5. That high Bb5 is a “leap up to it and leap back down” note, as in a Rossini embellishment arpeggio, not a “sit on it for a long time” note. Lowest notes: G3-B3 are also best to touch and leave, rather than to sit on. Great options for low sustained notes are C4-F4, for high sustained notes are Eb5-G5. I’m a skilled actress and interpreter, and I am particularly good at works that take advantage of this. I sing all manner of musical languages, however, I do not have perfect pitch, and I appreciate it when composers keep this in mind. For anyone wanting to write microtones, these are most effective stepwise or as a trill, anchored by “normal” half steps. Leaping to and from microtones is not very effective for me.

Fiumana by Aaron Levin, example of very contemporary writing and a text that is mostly syllables rather than words/story:

The Vulture by Jonah Elrod, example of whispering, humming, acting, in a contemporary setting:

It Doesn’t Suit Men… musical theatre duet: shows off my highs and lows in a cabaret / musical theatre style, diction, acting:

Dengues: high G’s! Standard rep, acting, physicality.

Lots more examples on my website:

Concert theme / title: No specific theme. Working title is “Shades of Autumn”.

Submission procedure: Anonymous submission. Remove or blank out anything on the score or other submitted media which identifies the composer. Check authorship, copyright notices, logos, program notes, performance notes, and so forth.

Composers may submit up to two works, but at most one can be selected. Priority will be given to works less than 12 minutes long.

Submit the following through the submission form on the website, along with required info such as instrumentation, duration, and contact info:

1. Score in PDF format, including any performance notes. Make sure nothing on the score identifies the composer. (PDF files are limited to 5MB by NewMusicEngine.)

2. Recording if available (MIDI is OK if none is) in MP3 format. A link may be submitted instead, if it’s more convenient or if your MP3 does not upload for some reason. Make sure nothing in an MP3 player window or the link identifies the composer.

3. If there are lyrics, submit them in a Text file in PDF format. If they are not in English, include a translation, ideally word-for-word and poetic. For languages OTHER than the standard singing ones (English, Latin, French, Italian, German, Spanish), please include a poetic English translation, a word for word translation and a pronunciation guide, preferably in International Phonetic Alphabet symbols. Make sure nothing in this file identifies the composer.

4. Text files in PDF format with your program notes, bio, or any other information pertaining to the piece which may be of interest to an audience. Please submit separate files for your notes and your bio. These won’t be accessible to the selection committee. If there’s some aspect of your submission you feel needs an additional explanatory note, briefly and anonymously comment in the submission form’s “Additional comments” box.

5. Lyrics permission – If there are lyrics which are not in the public domain, include a text file in PDF format showing you have permission to use them. Be sure to enter the author(s) in the separate text input box, even if the lyrics are in the public domain.

Selection process: A committee of Cascadia members, excluding anyone who submits work for this concert, will make all selections, which will be announced by September 6. Final score and parts for the selected works must be available by September 14, 2019.

Questions? Please contact Jeff Winslow at

Thank you and good luck!

Jeff Winslow for Cascadia Composers (chapter of NACUSA)