The 2020 Spectrum Music

New Voices Composer Residency

Fresh Sounds from the Next Generation of Contemporary Jazz Writers in Canada

The NVCR program allows a promising young composer the opportunity to develop and present a new work at an upcoming Spectrum concert through a guided mentorship process. The New Voices Composer Residency is aimed at young composers working in jazz, chamber jazz, and other crossover genres.

Fostering the next generation of contemporary jazz composers

Composers of all levels are invited to participate in our New Voices Workshop and apply for our accompanying Call For Scores (link below)! This year’s guest mentor is Alanna Ellison on harp. The Call For Scores invites emerging composers to submit their best scores for consideration. From this open call & participation in the workshop, one individual will be selected as the 2020 New Voices Composer and will be awarded the opportunity to compose a new work for States of Mind on June 13, 2020. This individual will also receive a series of mentorship sessions with the Spectrum composers. 

​Program Details

Workshop: March 4, 2020, 7:30pm 

Location: Lynx Music, Live Room - 260 Emerson Ave, Toronto


Application Requirements

  • Only original works will be accepted, no arrangements

  • 2 contrasting works for any instrumentation

  • PDF of full score (typed, not handwritten)

  • Recording (midi rendering is fine) (must be mp3 file)

  • Short description of each work

  • Although lead sheet style compositions will be considered, preference will be given to students who demonstrate the ability to orchestrate for an ensemble of instruments.

All applicants must upload all required materials to the Spectrum form and submit the application no later than midnight on Monday, February 24, 2020 in order to be considered.

* Limited seats are available in the workshop for those wishing to audit. A $10 entry fee will apply. Please email to RSVP. 

About States of Mind

Why do we think? Is your red someone else’s blue? Scientists and explorers have investigated the corners of the earth and beyond, yet the mind remains the greatest unexplained mystery. Illusions, conversations with our conscience, and personal stories of mental health fuel new music by the Spectrum composers and 2020 New Voices Composer in Residence in an exploration of the inner workings of our mind. These new works will be staged by a handpicked ensemble featuring harpist Alanna Ellison.

About Alanna Ellison

A Toronto native, Alanna Ellison is establishing herself as a versatile and successful musician by performing in a wide range of venues and performance settings. She was influenced from an early age by many different genres including Celtic music that could be heard in her childhood home. Alanna has been playing harp for over a decade after her admiration for the instrument convinced her to switch from her musical start on piano. She is a graduate of the Master of Music program at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, under the tutelage of Jennifer Swartz, principal harpist of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Alanna previously completed her Bachelor degree at the University of Toronto, where she studied with the renowned harpist, Judy Loman. Alanna has performed for numerous masterclasses for internationally respected harpists such as Alice Giles, Lynne Aspnes, Mariko Anraku, Marie-Pierre Langlamet and Caroline Lizotte. She has also had the opportunity to perform with groups such as the McGill Symphony Orchestra, the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony and Wind Ensemble, the Georgian Bay Symphony, and the Orchestre Philharmonique des Musiciens de Montréal. Alanna is also a two time alumni of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada with whom she travelled to Spain, Germany and Scotland.