American Modern Orchestra:
Orchestra Readings Guidelines

Orchestral readings are optional. Up to 20 composers will be selected for the readings. During the application process, composers will need to attach a PDF of at least 3 minutes of an orchestral score, 7 minutes maximum. PDFs only, no Sibelius, Finale, Dorico or other types of files. Excerpts from longer works are acceptable. Composers will need to indicate the specific excerpt if it's from a longer work. Works or excerpts can be in-progress, and do not need to be finished works. Excerpts submitted during the application process must be for the same work that will be read. Performance history must be indicated during the application process. Two composers whose works are read during the readings will be chosen for an orchestral performance of their work  with AMO.

IMPORTANT: please refer to MMF's Music Preparation Guidelines for Composers as well as Policy on Edits before submitting works.


Orchestra Instrumentation Finalized: April 15
Submit Final Orchestral Score and Sample Part PDFs: May 1
Orchestral Reading Physical Materials Due: May 15
Physical Parts are due the morning of the 2nd day of the festival to the Composition Coordinator

Works not adhering to these guidelines will not be considered or read.


Works that exceed the following instrumentation or call for instruments not listed here will not be accepted. We recommend that composers score for winds in threes, or less (except for French Horns). i.e., scoring for double winds and brass is perfectly fine. Winds in fours may be available, but we won't know that until early spring.

3 Flutes (Only Flute 3 doubling Piccolo and/or Alto Flute)
3 Oboes (Only Oboe 3 doubling English Horn)
3 Clarinets (Only Clarinet 3 doubling Bass Clarinet)
3 Bassoons (Only Bassoon 3 doubling Contrabassoon)
4 French Horns
3 Trumpets
3 Trombones
1 Bass Trombone
1 Tuba
1 Timpani (4 Pedal Timpani [23”, 26” or 25”, 29” or 28”, 32”], not doubling percussion)
3 Percussionists
1 Keyboard (piano, may double synthesizer, provided by the festival)
1 Harp
16 Violins
6 Violas
6 Cellos
3 Basses

Available Percussion Instruments

It is strongly recommended that percussion scoring be economical and not use every single instrument, and if possible, not every keyboard percussion instrument (so not marimba, xylophone and vibraphone in one piece, for example).

Tubular Chimes (with 2 chime mallets)
4 1/3 Octave Marimba
Vibraphone (with working motor)
Orchestra Bells
2 Sets Crotales (high and low)
Snare Drum with concert snare drum stand (for playing while standing up)
Field Drum with stand
Bongos (2) with stand
Congas (2) with stand
3 Roto Toms on stand (6”, 8”, and 10”)
4 Concert Tom Toms (single-headed) with concert tom tom stands
Large Concert Bass Drum with stand
Drumset Bass Drum with Pedal
Large Tam Tam on stand
Temple Blocks (5) with stand
Crash cymbals (Medium and Large)
Small Suspended Cymbal with stand
Medium Suspended Cymbal with stand
Large Suspended Cymbal with stand
Large China Cymbal
Sizzle Cymbal with stand
High, Medium, and Low Woodblocks
3 Triangles (Small, Medium and Large)
Tambourine (with head)
Mountable Tambourine (without head)
Finger Cymbals
Ratchet (with working bass drum mount)
Castanets (on Castanet Machine, if possible)
Anvil (percussion sound effect)
Cow Bells (High, Medium, and Low Latin Cow Bells, not Almglocken)
Bell Tree
Mark Tree (Bar Wind Chimes) with stand
Police Whistle
4 Trap Tables