MTNA/IMTA Composer Commissioning

2018 Commissioned Composer Performance at Sweetwater Sound in Fort Wayne


The National Composer Commissioning Program supported by MTNA through the affiliated state associations is designed to encourage the creation of new works by American composers. The Indiana MTA board commissions a composition annually that receives its premiere performance at the state conference.

The composition is then submitted to MTNA to a panel of recognized composers for selection of the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year. The new work of the selected composer is presented in a performance at the MTNA national conference, and the composer is proclaimed the MTNA “Distinguished Composer of the Year.”

The selected composer receives a $5,000 award.

On this page you will:

  • Important points to note
  • Nomination form for composer commissioning
  • History of MTNA/IMTA Commissioned Compositions

For more information or questions regarding the program, please contact the IMTA board’s MTNA Composer Commissioning chair, Caroline KyungA Ahn.


IMTA State President Amy Chaplin presenting 2018 Commissioned Composer, Benjamin Krause, with the commissioning check. This program is sponsored jointly between MTNA and IMTA.


Important Points to Note

  • This is a joint commission from IMTA/MTNA.
  • The piece will be entered into the MTNA national competition for Distinguished Composer of the Year ($5,000 prize).
  • The current commission amount is $1500 ($750 provided by IMTA; $750 matched by MTNA) and will include a Form 1099.
  • The premier must be at the IMTA state conference, with the completion of the piece at least 4 weeks prior.
  • It is the composer’s responsibility to provide performers for the premiere at the state conference, and also at the national conference if the piece wins the Distinguished Composer of the Year award. 
  • It is the composer’s responsibility to provide 4 scores and 4 recordings to the IMTA commissioning chair for submission to MTNA by Dec. 1 following the premiere performance.
  • The complete MTNA guidelines are on the MTNA website.
  • Copyright and future publication rights all remain with the composer.


Nominations for Commissioned Composer

If you would like to nominate someone (or yourself) for the MTNA/IMTA Commissioned Composer program, please fill out the form below. Application deadline is February 1 of each calendar year.

Nominations are not limited in any way. The candidate selected to be the Commissioned Composer will be notified in April by the IMTA Commissioned Composer chair.

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MTNA/ IMTA Commissioned Compositions


2016 Commissioned Composer Jorge Muniz with 2016 State President Christina Whitlock

2022 – Kevin McMahon | Moments in Time (piano)
2021 – Ryan Oliver | Burst – Reflection (piano)
2020 – John Liberatore | Telarañas (guitar)
2019 – Benjamin Dean Taylor | Get More Epic (saxophone)
2018 – Benjamin Krause – Distinguished Composer of the Year, MTNA | Taxonomies of Pulse (two pianos)
2017 – Marc Wooldridge | Cyclic variations (percussion quartet)
2016 – Jorge Muniz  Goyescas XXI | Homage to Enrique Granados (piano, cello, violin)
2015 – Caroline KyungA Ahn | When the Ocean Speaks (two pianos) 1. Breaking the Stillness 2. Lullaby 3. Stormy Afternoon
2014 – Michele Murray | A Day in the Life Suite (piano duet)
2013 – John Berners | Star Harp Tender (piano solo)
2012 –  Anthony Lanman | Rush (alto saxophone, electronic cello, electric guitar, accordion)
2011 – Aaron Travers | Sonatina for Piano Solo (piano)
2010 – Don Freund | Autumn Songs (piano, violin, cello)
2009 – Dana Collins | Phantasie (flute, piano)
2008 – Christopher Goldston | Crossroads of America (intermediate piano suite)
2007 – Todd Syswerda | Behind the Curtain (chamber choir, string quartet, and piano)
2006 – Daniel Powers | The Rain is Full of Ghosts (soprano, viola, piano)
2005 – Eleanor Trawick | (piano)
2004 – Frank Felice – Honorable Mention, MTNA | Two by Four (3 violins, viola)
2003 – Marjorie Rusche | Hearing the Grass Grow, my Water Buffalo (soprano, cello, piano)
2000 – Libby Larsen | Now Dance (children’s choir)
1996 – Debora DeWitt | Three Portraits (piano duo)
1988 – Michael Schelle – National Honor, MTNA | Musica Magnetizzare (alto, violin, alto saxophone, tuba, 2 percussionists, piano)
1977 – Richard Faith | Songs  of Spring (soprano, flute, piano)
1972 – Morris Knight | (voice, piano)
1967 – Jon Polifrone | Four Songs for Tenor 1967 (tenor, piano)