School of Music
18th NewMusic Initiative

To engage our community in all phases of new music's culture:

Visiting artists (listed below, here) are deeply involved with the creation and dissemination of new musical ideas. Guests will work with our community in:

  • Instrumental/vocal Master Classes
  • Workshops for composers
  • Seminars on commissioning new work
  • Reading, recording and critique of student composers' music

Each year we will (see video introduction to the unique program):

Contact us to be a part of

Check out these video and print pieces about the NewMusic Initiative!

Insectaphobia comes alive on stage in ECU Opera Premiere

Quick Links

2017 - 2018
Schedule of Events


Oct. 13, 2017 @ 7:30pm
AYANO KATAOKA, marimba/percussion
Nov. 9, 2017 @ 7:30pm
Nov. 20, 2017 @ 7:30pm
NewMusic by ECU student composers
JANUARY 26, 2018 @ 7:30pm
Feb. 27, 2018 @ 7:30pm
FREQUENCIES a NewMusic Ensemble
Mar. 15, 2018 @ 7:30pm
Mar. 17, 2018 @ 7:30pm, Wright Aud.
Jorge Richter, Director
13th Annual Composition Competition Winner 
Mar. 22, 2018 @ 7:30pm
DUO CORTONA, soprano & violin
Mar. 28, 2018 @ 7:30pm
NewMusic by ECU student composers
Apr. 14, 2018 @ 7:30pm, Wright Auditorium
Jorge Richter, Director; Keiko Sekino, piano
World Premiere, NCNMI Commission 
by Matthew Ricketts
April 15, 2018, 3pm, Paramount Theatre
Goldsboro, NC
Apr. 16, 2018 @ 7:30pm
NewMusic by ECU student composers

13th Annual Orchestral Composition Competition

The judges for the 13th annual NORTH CAROLINA NEW MUSIC INITIATIVE Orchestra Composition Competition were truly delighted to have the opportunity to review so many wonderful entries, and have selected Half-light on desolation, by Frej Wedlund for performance in concert on March 17, 2018.

     The competition’s judges, East Carolina University Orchestra Director Jorge Richter, and composers Travis Alford and Mark Taggart struggled to choose a single work from among many, many fine pieces which are appropriate for this ensemble.  The variety of musical styles, and the diversity of composers’ backgrounds offered exposure to many gifted composers, and we are thrilled to know that wonderfully vital works are being written today in this medium.
     Frej Wedlund is a composer from Östersund, Sweden, whose current work is largely concerned with silent tension, quiet reflection and intimacy. In 2016, he completed a Bachelor’s degree in composition at the Royal College of Music, Stockholm, where he studied with Per Mårtensson and Pär Lindgren. He has also participated in master classes with Kaija Saariaho, Johannes Schöllhorn, Simon Steen-Andersen, simone Movio, Eivind Buene, Nicolas Tzortzis, among others. Frej’s music has been performed by ensembles such as Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, OU Symphony, Norrbotten NEO, the Swedish Wind Symphony, Ensemble Suono Giallo, KMH Symphony Orchestra and Musica Vitae in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, France, Switzerland, Italy, Ukraine, and the USA.
     Half-light on desolation is a somber work, almost rhapsodic in form if not in mood, written in 2013-14 at the Royal College of Music, Stockholm. It begins with a long series of declamatory, soloistic wind entries, interspersed with heavy orchestral textures. The unifying feature to its nearly divergent structure is a highly condensed, melodic motif. The motif is repeated throughout the piece, at times almost incessantly, finally coming to rest in a sea of tranquility. The work was premiered in May, 2014, by the Norrköping at the De Geer Hall, Norrköping, Sweden.
     The East Carolina University Symphony, under the direction of Jorge Richter, looks forward to performing Half-light on desolation on Saturday, March 17, 2018, at 7:30pm, on a free concert in Wright Auditorium on the ECU campus in Greenville, NC.   We will welcome Frej to campus for a residency in the days preceding the orchestra’s performance, and are eager to welcome him to our community.

The deadline for the 14th annual orchestra composition competition will be December 1, 2018; details below.

14th Annual Orchestra Composition Competition

Open to all composers, regardless of age, nationality or institutional affiliation. [Past winners listed below.]

Prize: The winning work will be performed by
the East Carolina University Symphony
during the 2018-2019 season in Wright Auditorium, Greenville, NC.

For consideration, the following materials must be received by December 1, 2018:

  1. Scores (a maximum of two works; two copies of each submission) professional quality score(s), meeting guidelines noted below:
    • Name of composer (anonymous entry NOT necessary)
    • Maximum instrumentation: 2 flutes (+piccolo), 2 oboe (1 English Horn double), 2 clarinet (+bass), 2 bassoon, 4 horn, 3 trumpet, 3 trombone (including bass), 1 tuba, Timpani, 2 percussion, piano, Strings
    • Works with electronics/computer WILL be considered
    • Work with Harp will NOT be considered
    • Works including soloists will NOT be considered
    • Maximum duration of twelve (12) minutes
    • Difficulty level suitable for advanced university orchestra
  1. Information Sheet with:
    • Composer's name, address, telephone number, e-mail address
    • One paragraph bio, one paragraph program note
    • Title of submitted composition(s), list of instrumentation, duration of composition, date of completion, and performance history (if applicable)
  1. If available, a recording of the submitted work(s) may be included. Recordings are helpful, but are not necessary.
  2. For EACH ENTRY, an APPLICATION FEE of $10 US in the form of a check payable to East Carolina University, with NewMusic Initiative noted in the memo. [Cash (US $) is also acceptable.]  Payment may also be made online here.
  3. Self-addressed stamped envelope if you wish your materials to be returned.

Members of The East Carolina University Orchestra, Jorge Richter, Director, will perform the single winning work during the orchestra's 2018-2019 season, on a NC NewMusic Initiative concert on the East Carolina University campus in Greenville, NC.

Parts for the winning work must be received by January 10, 2019.

The composer of the winning work must be available to attend the festival. Every attempt will be made by the festival staff to provide accommodations for visitors, and to subsidize costs of travel. The composer of the winning work may also be asked to conduct a seminar, introducing their work to students and other festival attendants.

The composer of the selected score will be notified by December 25, 2018. Parts for the winning work must be received by January 10, 2019.

Address all submissions to:
Mark Taggart
Composition Competition Director
NC NewMusic Initiative
366 Fletcher Music Center
East Carolina University Greenville, NC 27858
2018: Frej Wedlund: Half-light on desolation
2017: Charles Peck, Mosaic
2016: John Costa, Esperanca 
2015: Roydon Tse, Three Musings
2014: Michael-Thomas Fumai, Lady Dark
2013: Nicholas Omiccioli, flourishes
2012: Jessica Rudman, Seasonal Affective Disorder
2011: Paul Siskind, Gumption Trap
2010: Ingrid Stölzel, Genius Loci
2009: Chen Yao, Two Poems
2008: Christopher Dietz, Gharra
2007: Lembit Beecher, Don't Go There
2006: Anthony Iannaccone, Waiting for Sunrise on the Sound


Come hear how new ideas are initiated, and celebrate our
There are concerts, Master Classes with visiting performers and composers,
readings of student composers' works, receptions, discussions and more!
For additional information or to become a sponsor, contact:
  Edward Jacobs, Founder & Director of the NC NewMusic Initiative, at 252-328-4280