Essential APPLICATION InfO for
The deadline for 2019 programs has passed. Stay tuned for announcement of next year's Composer Fellows!
Featured guest performance faculty and dates (Composers are automatically considered for ALL cycles)
First session: Sun, January 20th – Wed, January 23rd, 2019 (Boonville, CA)
Second session: Sun, September 1st – September 3rd, 2019 (Boonville, CA)
First session: Wed, February 20th – Sat, February 23rd, 2019 (Boonville, CA)
Second session: Fri, October 11th – Sun, October 13th, 2019 (Gil, MA at Antenna Cloud Farm)
First session: Fri, April 5th – Mon, April 8th, 2019 (Boonville, CA)
Second session: Sun, September 29th – Tues, October 1st, 2019 (Berkeley, CA)
First session: November 22nd – November 25th, 2019 (Boonville, CA)
Second session: April 5th – April 7th, 2020 (Baltimore, MD)
All applicants are automatically considered for all cycles. Successful applicants will only be into accepted into one cycle as determined by the Academy.
Special Note: In the event that wildfires pose a risk to residencies scheduled to be held in Boonville, said residencies will be moved to the San Francisco Bay Area necessitating little change in travel plans for participants.
Deadlines for all cycles of Bahlest Eeble Readings program
Submission of application: Friday, August 17th, 2018 (11:59 PM EST)
Date of Academy's notification of acceptance: No later than Friday, October 19th
Any composer who identifies as emerging (i.e., still in school or in the early phase of their professional lives) who is interested in the "classical" or "classical-crossover" medium (admittedly problematic labels!), and who is at least 21 years of age. Exceptions considered.
Composers who are largely self-taught are encouraged to apply. Experience with written scores preferred but exceptions considered if composer is willing to take steps, however small, towards notation.
All accepted composers must be willing to sign a waiver accepting responsibility for the following: Risks associated with visiting a rural area, being in close proximity to farm animals in addition to cats and dogs, restricting consumption of alcohol to a moderate level, refraining from smoking any substance whatsoever on Academy grounds due to extreme fire hazard, participating in all educational and outreach events scheduled by the Academy, acknowledging that deadlines are firm, and not discriminating on the basis of aesthetic, race, nationality, religion, political persuasion, gender, or orientation.
All accepted composers must be available for the entire duration of the residencies.
Application fees and tuition
$25 application fee; $1950 tuition cost for the Bahlest Eeble Readings. (Scholarship assistance is available. See below.)
Successful applicants will need to pay a non-refundable $200 deposit to secure their spot plus $100 lodging deposit that is returned at the end of the year if no damage to property is assessed. Remaining tuition can be paid in up to three additional installments.
Note: Up to two auditors will be accepted into each cycle at reduced cost. These programs are customized and priced according to the needs of the curious "hobbyist," or a composer who needs more experience before jumping fully into the Bahlest Eebles Reading program.
As communal bonding is an essential part of the Academy experience, accepted composers are strongly encouraged to stay at Gabriela’s comfortable second home, the Timberstone Guest cottage, in Boonville at no cost. Additional guests – spouses and children, for instance – cannot be accommodated. If composers wish to stay elsewhere in the Anderson Valley at their own cost, the Academy can make recommendations but cannot guarantee availability. Auditors may need to find their own lodging depending on housing availability.
Lodging at Timberstone Guest Cottage is shared at two people per room (each with own bed). A lodging deposit is requested and will be returned if no damage is assessed to property.
For residencies where the second session is held outside of Boonville, comfortable lodging will be provided at no cost.
Light breakfast items and cooking essentials are stocked in the Timberstone Guest Cottage kitchen. One vegetarian group cook each day will utilize ingredients sourced from Gabriela's own farms or locally at Academy cost. (Dietary restrictions will be considered whenever possible, given the limitations of a small rural community.) All other meals are the responsibility of composers who have several local grocery stores and restaurants at their disposal.
Note: Composers are encouraged to participate in what has become a tradition at the Academy: Cooking a dinner for the faculty performers, at some point in the residency, as a culinary "Thank you." Stay posted for an eventual Academy cookbook!
Accepted composers are responsible for their air/ground travel to arrive to Boonville by the start date of their residency. (Arrival the day before is strongly recommended. Some travel scholarships are available.) Airports closest to Boonville are San Francisco International (SFO), Oakland International (OAK), and Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport (STS) in Santa Rosa (closest). Public transportation will not be sufficient in getting fellows from the airports to Boonville, and therefore, rental cars will be needed to at least partially navigate the trip, and to generally get around Boonville and the rest of the Anderson Valley. Accepted composers will receive assistance from Academy staff in communicating with other composers to share rental cars. The Academy can provide some limited transportation to/from airports.
Scholarships are available for all that demonstrate need, and the Academy is proud that in 2018, the average scholarship was 75% coverage plus some travel assistance. All scholarships are in the form of modest work studies. Applicants for assistance will need to submit a copy of last year's tax return at the time of application, and a written description of their current financial situation.
The Academy is committed to helping successful applicants who search for outside funding support: Upon requests, we provide letters of support for grants and we commit a "starting" pledge to fundraising campaigns such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe.
Criteria for adjudication
1. Music: Simply put, I’m looking for an exciting imagination inside a curious spirit who shows infinite creative promise.
2. Personal qualities: I’m looking for composers who can be collegial and supportive, open-minded to the different backgrounds and aesthetics of their fellow composers, who would like to make new friends, and who I would feel happy to welcome into my own home. I’m also looking for composers who have an impressive work ethic and who understand they’ll hear from mentors who will take them seriously and give them tough, discerning feedback. I’m especially interested in composers who feel that the Academy’s commitment to arts citizenship is in step with their own personal ethos. I'm also looking for composers who could be potential recipients of support from the Alumni Support Initiative.
3. Fit: Admittedly highly subjective! I’ll be going on instinct to carefully and honorably decide whether I can be of utmost service to each and every applicant, much in the vein of a private teacher deciding who to accept into his or her private studio. Don't be surprised if I solicit the input of my faculty artists and an additional established composer or two to make final decisions on successful applicants. You are taken seriously!