In Call for Submissions, Opportunities, Press Release
(Left to right) Kyle Blake Jones, SA and Nathan Mertens from the performance KWEe(a)r(e)
Photo by Estuardo Garcia

Kansas City, MO, February 21, 2023: Charlotte Street is excited to announce a call for music scores for the New Music Compositions Competition, supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. The call for compositions seeks work by queer artists exploring the following themes:

  • pieces with a focus on queer narratives from the region
  • coming out
  • activism/protest to specific laws and mandates
  • celebration or awareness to historical queer events or initiatives
  • domestic/ family scenarios

Submissions will be juried by the performers. The deadline to apply is Sunday, March 26th. The online submission application can be found through Submittable.

Jaime from the Performance KWEe(a)r(e)
Photo by Estuardo Garcia

Four composers will be awarded $250 dollars and the opportunity to work directly in a collaborative process with the ensemble. The composed work will be performed by a queer ensemble that focuses on contemporary approaches to acoustic-electronic chamber music. The general public is invited to the free concert on Saturday, May 6, 2023 in the Charlotte Street Stern Theater.

The New Music Composition Competition was developed in 2021 to support time-based, electro-acoustic, improvisational, experimental, and new music artists. The call was created in collaboration with the local ensemble Mother Russia Industries with the focus on expanding and developing Kansas City’s musical palettes. The opportunity for living composers and professional musicians to collaborate can be rare, especially in the academic world of music. For a second year in a row, the New Music Compositions Competition returns to provide area musicians and composers a platform to premiere new works in Charlotte Street’s state-of-the-art black box theater.

In keeping with Charlotte Street’s mission to support projects of risk-taking,openness, collaboration and excellence, the Stern Theatre presented Anthony R. Green’s kWEe(a)r(e) (pronounced “Queer”) in January 2023. This work, as the title suggests, is not centered on a typical trope of painful queer experiences, but rather, on all aspects of queer visibility and excellence. Prior to the concert the queer performers facilitated a panel discussion on Queerness in the Arts, facilitating a dialogue between regional artists and the community that explored the ways that queerness expresses itself in various artforms. Charlotte Street invited the performers to collaborate on a new call for music compositions in response to the discussion and performances.

  • To foster a collaborative community of composers and ensemble musicians from diverse backgrounds
  • To create new repertoire with common narratives in the queer lived-experience
  • To explore the boundaries between academic and non-academic composition through interdisciplinary practices
  • To stimulate community discourse around issues related to the queer lived-experience
  • To realize a performance of each of the works and have recordings/scores available for future performance
  • Applicants must reside in Missouri or a state that borders Missouri (Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee)
  • No more than 3 audio, video, or score representations of work
  • A detailed proposal of how the composer would like to work with the ensemble. This is not a score
  • A short bio and CV                                                                                      
  • All these materials should be received by Sunday, March 26th
  • View the Call as a PDF HERE
  • Applications must be submitted via the Submittable Portal HERE
  1. Call Opens – Tuesday, February 21
  2. Q&A with the Ensemble – Monday, March 6th
  3. Deadline to Apply – Sunday, March 26th 
  4. Selection Notifications – Sunday, April 9, 2023
  5. Digital Meet and Greet for Composers and Ensemble – TBD
  6. Dress rehearsals at Charlotte Street – Friday, May 5, 2023
  7. Performance – Saturday, May 6, 2023

The chosen finalist will be responsible for supplying a finished score whether that be text, graphic, traditional or non-traditional, scores of all types will be accepted. Collaboration with the ensemble will conclude with a live performance and audio/video documentation of their work. Each collaborator may choose to use the ensemble in their own unique way. Applicants are strongly encouraged in utilizing the full ensemble’s instrumentation but are open to modular combinations as well. Voice may also include: live spoken word or pre-recorded vocals/audio. Instrumentation available to saxophonists include: soprano, alto, tenor, & baritone. Percussionists will have access to standard mallet percussions: marimba, vibraphone, drum kit, and auxiliary instruments


The New Music Compositions ensemble is made up of two queer duos, two saxophonists and two percussionists, who specialize in contemporary approaches to acoustic-electronic chamber music. Their performance practice explores new music and traditionally notated music with the addition of a vocalist or spoken word. The ensemble aims to expand the repertoire for this instrumentation while championing queer narratives & stories.

  • Kyle Blake Jones – Saxophone
  • Nathan Mertens – Saxophone
  • Jaime – Percussion
  • SA – Percussion
  • Kelli Van Meter – Soprano

Charlotte Street centers Kansas City’s most forward-thinking visual artists, writers, and performers—acting as the primary incubator, provocateur, and connector for the region’s contemporary arts community, and its leading advocate on the national stage. Since 1997, Charlotte Street has distributed over $2 million in awards and grants to artists and their innovative projects, and connected individual artists to each other and to the greater Kansas City community. For more information about Charlotte Street, its awards, programs, and initiatives, visit

View as PDF HERE


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