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Recording Program

The 2024 Recording Program is now open for applications.
Application Deadline: March 28th, 2024 - 11:59PM

2024 Recording Program Guidelines
Deadline: March 31, 2024 at 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time


Any applicant wishing to apply to the Recording Program must first apply to the Recording Program Preliminary Round, for which the deadline is November 30, 2023. Please visit the program page for that round for instructions and to begin an application.

Only applicants who have already submitted an application to the Preliminary Round and received an invitation from the Fund to submit a full proposal may submit an application to the 2023 Recording Program. No other applications will be considered.

Eligible Applicant Types:

Performing Ensembles
Presenting Organizations
Recording Companies
Fiscally Sponsored Individuals

All applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

  • 501(c)(3) non-profit status (or foreign equivalent); or
  • Fiscal sponsorship by an organization with 501(c)3 non-profit status; or
  • Be a Recording Company with a Federal Tax ID (EIN).

Program Objectives

To increase the public's knowledge of and appreciation for contemporary American concert music and contemporary jazz through the documentation and distribution of commercial recordings.

Application snapshot

Eligibility

NOTE: The Recording Program has a two-part application process. Applicants must first submit a proposal to the Preliminary Round before being invited to apply for a Recording Program grant. Please review the Preliminary Round guidelines for additional information.

Who is eligible?

Applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

  • 501(c)(3) non-profit status (or foreign equivalent); or
  • Fiscal sponsorship by an organization with 501(c)3 non-profit status; or
  • Be a Recording Company with a Federal Tax ID (EIN).

Eligible Applicant Types:

  • Performing Ensembles
  • Presenting Organizations
  • Recording Companies
  • Fiscally Sponsored Individuals

Recording companies may submit a maximum of three proposals. All other applicants may submit only one proposal.

What is eligible?

The Recording Program funds commercial recordings of contemporary (within the last 40 years) American concert music and contemporary jazz (see definitions for more information). First recordings are preferred.

Recording projects must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Unreleased prior to the Recording Program Application deadline;
  • Professionally produced and distributed;
  • A recording of a work that is complete by the time of application

All works to be included in the proposal must be completed at the time of the application—works in progress are not eligible.

NOTE: For all projects distributed digitally, grantees will be required to post liner notes and credits on an appropriate page of their web sites and to provide a permanent copy of the funded recording for the Fund’s archive.

What is not eligible?

The Recording Program does not fund the following:

  • Recordings of works outside the field of American concert music and jazz; this includes commercial, pop, Broadway-style musical theater, sacred, holiday, and traditional concert band music.
  • Promotional and/or marketing materials
  • Archival recordings
  • Live streaming activity (this activity may be funded by the Performance Program)
  • Proposals to record works that have not been completed at the time of application
  • Recordings made by student ensembles*
  • Recordings made by volunteer, community, and amateur ensembles*
  • Recordings released by educational institutions*
  • Composer commissioning fees and/or honoraria
  • Applicants with overdue or delinquent Recording Program projects (please contact the Grants Manager with any questions)

*Such organizations are not generally eligible but may apply if authorized in advance by the Grants Manager. Educational institutions may not apply for projects involving school-age students, student ensembles, or credit-bearing university-level activities but they may apply for eligible activities that involve professional musicians (including faculty). However, the participation of some professional musicians in an ensemble that is primarily a student activity does not make that activity eligible for support.

Definitions

Contemporary
For the Fund’s purposes, music composed within the last 40 years is considered contemporary. The Fund provides support for concert music and jazz composed within that time period; if your project falls outside of this scope but is of exceptional importance and relevance to contemporary American concert music, please contact the Grants Manager.

Concert Music
For the Fund’s purposes, concert music includes opera, orchestral and chamber music for instrumental and/or vocal ensembles, as well as concert music in experimental genres and similar formats. Popular music, including commercial, pop, Broadway-style musical theater, sacred, holiday, and traditional concert band music, is not fundable.

American Music
Music by composers with U.S. citizenship, wherever they may live, as well as non-citizen composers who have lived and worked in the U.S. and its territories for a significant period.

Presenters
Music venues or similar organizations whose principal activity is to present live musical performances by a variety of performing groups throughout the year.

NOTE: Performance activity is not eligible in this grant program; please visit the Performance Program guidelines to review eligibility.

How to Apply

Only applicants invited to apply after submitting an approved proposal to the Preliminary Round may submit a full application to the Recording Program.

Log in here. Then click on the "apply now" button at the top of this page to begin the online application process.

Please DO NOT create duplicate accounts. If you do not know whether your organization already has an account, please contact the Grants Manager.

NOTE: If you have been invited to submit multiple projects, you must submit a separate application for each.

PLEASE NOTE: The online application does not automatically self-save. It is not necessary to complete the application in one session, but the application must be saved at the end of every session and should be saved at least once during each session to avoid lost work.

All applicants must supply the following information:

Project

  • Select one or more distribution options.
  • Identify your label or distributor.
  • Specify your planned release date (must be after the application deadline, March 31, 2024).
  • Enter first-pressing quantity (for digital release, enter “1”).
  • Upload project budget. Applicants must use the provided template, linked here.
  • Enter requested grant amount. (The Fund does not award grants larger than the amount requested by the Applicant. Grants will generally not exceed 50% of the total project costs.)
  • Enter the total cost of the project. This number should align with the uploaded project budget.

Proposal

  • Select any of the “Special Categories” that apply to the project.
  • Rationale: This section should be a very brief description of the project for which you are requesting funding.
  • Existing Recordings: If any proposed work is currently available in recorded form, a list of the existing recording(s), and an explanation of why a new recording of the work is desirable.
  • Plans and Timetable: Present a detailed timeline for production, promotion, and distribution of the recording.
  • Composer Biographies: Present short biographies for each of the composers (max. 200 words) whose works are featured on the recording.
  • Performer Biographies: Present short biographies for each soloist (max. 150 words) and each ensemble.
  • Producer/Director Biographies: If not already captured above, present short biographies for each member of the creative team (max. 150 words).
  • Miscellaneous Remarks: This field should be used only for important information that cannot be captured elsewhere in the application (e.g. passwords for protected media, links to important supplemental materials, etc.).

Works to be Recorded

For each work to be recorded as part of this project, include the following:

  • Composer Name
  • Title of Work
  • Performer(s)
  • Duration (MM:SS)
  • Year of Composition

Musical Materials

Recordings:

Select work samples that best reflect the participants and scope of the project.

Be sure that all personnel to be included are represented in your samples. This may require providing samples of works that are not included in your project; if so, it is recommended you provide samples that align stylistically with the project, and with similar instrumentation.

Submit a minimum of three 3-5-minute audio samples (MP3 format) for a total of no more than 15 minutes of music. All audio examples must be continuous, uncut excerpts.

Audio excerpts should be one of the following, in descending order of preference:

  1. The final master of the proposed work
  2. A recording of the proposed work other than the final master (such as a live performance or rough edit), performed by the same performers as proposed for the project
  3. A recording of the proposed work performed by different performers than proposed for the project
  4. A demo of the proposed work (such as a MIDI realization or a performance of the piano reduction)
  5. A recording of another work by the composer(s) in a similar style to the proposed work.

For each recording, indicate the following:

  • Composer
  • Performer(s)
  • Type of excerpt (check all that apply)
  • Title of Work
  • Bar Numbers: indicate start and end measures of the excerpt from the corresponding score (where applicable)

Scores:

Applicants must submit COMPLETE scores (including traditional and non-traditional forms of notation) for each of the works included in the application. Scores must reflect the complete work; legibility is essential, though publisher-standard quality is not demanded.

In the description field for each file, please include the following information:

  • Composer
  • Title of Work
  • Audio excerpt bars and page numbers (when applicable) (e.g. Copland, “Appalachian Spring”. Bars 30-93 on pages 6-22.)

Video examples:

NOTE: This applies only to projects that include a video component.

Select work samples that best reflect the participants and scope of the project.

Be sure that all personnel to be included are represented in your samples. This may require providing samples of works that are not included in your project; if so, it is recommended you provide samples that align stylistically with the project, and with similar instrumentation.

Video excerpts should be one of the following, in descending order of preference:

  1. The final master of the proposed work
  2. A recording of the proposed work other than the final master (such as a live performance), performed by the same performers as proposed for the project
  3. A recording of the proposed work performed by different performers than proposed for the project
  4. A demo of the proposed work (such as a MIDI realization or a performance of the piano reduction)
  5. A recording of another work by the composer composed around the same time as the proposed work and preferably in a genre similar to that of the proposed work

For each video, indicate the following:

  • Title of Work
  • Composer
  • Performer(s)
  • Date of Performance
  • More Info (use this field for any of the following):
    • Names of artistic staff
    • Bar Numbers: indicate start and end measures of the excerpt from the corresponding score (where applicable)
    • Passwords (if your video is password protected)
  • Video: A link to the video URL

Supporting Materials

  • Non-Profit Applicants: Submit a list of the Board of Directors, uploaded as a PDF.
  • Fiscally-Sponsored Applicants: Submit a letter from the fiscal sponsor, on the sponsor’s letterhead, committing to take financial responsibility for the project.
  • Recording Companies: Submit a PDF or a link to the URL of your catalog of recordings.

Organization Financials

  • Financial Statements: Please submit the most recent financial statements for your organization. (This is not required for for-profit recording companies or individuals.)
  • Financials: For the current and previous two years, please provide the following information:
    • Income
    • Expenses
    • Indicate whether actual or projected

Review Procedures

Funding decisions will be made by a panel of experts from the contemporary American concert music and jazz fields. The following criteria will be applied in evaluating grant proposals:

  • Quality of the music and the importance of the project to the recorded repertoire, to the composer(s) and to the performer(s)
  • Artistic quality and performance history of the performer(s) to be recorded
  • Feasibility of the recording project, including financial and other arrangements made with the recording company, timetable for the production and release of the recording, plans for distribution and promotion, and commitment from other funders
  • Demonstrated commitment to contemporary American music

Please note: If you receive a grant for a recording project, you may not change any details about the project (i.e. works to recorded, personnel, release date, or record label) without explicit written permission from the grants manager.

Funding Provisions

In general, grants will not exceed $10,000. Grants will generally not exceed 50% of the total project costs.

Once awarded, all grants are subject to the following conditions and timetable:

  1. Funds must be requested within two years of award notification.
  2. Funds will be disbursed upon receipt the grantee’s signed Recording Project Payment Form. (Please thoroughly review the terms and conditions before signing.)
  3. A grantee may request an advance disbursement if needed. Please contact the Grants Manager to request an Advance Disbursement Form. 
    1. The amount disbursed in advance will be at the discretion of the Fund’s staff based upon submitted documentation, but will generally not exceed 50% of the total grant award
    2. A grantee having received advance disbursement may request the balance of the award by submitting the signed Recording Project Payment Form.
  4. The recording must be released within two years after the date of the first payment.

Commercial recording grantees are subject to IRS expenditure reporting while the grant open.

If a grantee does not request funds within two years, or if the recording is not released within two years of grant award disbursal, the Fund reserves the right to cancel the grant.

If a recording funded by the Copland Fund should become unavailable in any form, either physical or digital, the Fund reserves the right, on thirty (30) days written notice, sent to the grantee at its last known address, to make it available on the internet, subject to the payment by the Fund of all required royalties and fees to performers and publishers.

Application Cycle and Deadline

  • November 30, 2023: Preliminary Round deadline
  • February 15, 2024: Preliminary Round notification via e-mail; invitation to apply
  • March 31, 2024: Full Application Deadline

Applicants will be notified of funding decisions in or about June of that year. Please do not contact the Fund for information on funding decisions.

IMPORTANT: You are responsible for complying with all legal and contractual requirements that may apply to the creation of your materials. The Copland Fund hereby disclaims all legal responsibility in connection with your submissions. In case of questions, consult your legal advisor.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") Policy

Questions?

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to read the Frequently Asked Questions before starting an application. If a question is not answered there, please contact the Grants Manager prior to the time of application.

Telephone: 212-461-6956 (Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET)
E-mail: onlinegrants@coplandfund.org

See lists of grantees from previous rounds

Updated October 26, 2023

Should I Apply?

Does the Fund support jazz music?

Yes, the Fund considers American jazz music composed within the last 40 years. (For more information, please review program guidelines.)

May I apply to more than one grant program?

Yes! Performing organizations (e.g. orchestras, choirs, chamber music groups, opera and dance companies, etc.) that are seeking funding for live performances should apply to the Performing Program. Applicants seeking funding for commercial recordings should apply to the Recording Program. Applicants seeking funding for non-performing activities should apply to the Supplemental Program.

NOTE: Performing organizations may also apply to the Supplemental Program only if they operate a discrete and substantial standalone program that qualifies for eligibility, and only with permission from the grants manager.

Does the Fund support musical theater?

No, Broadway-style musical theater projects are generally not supported. Opera and dance projects involving live performances of contemporary concert music are supported.

Does the Fund provide funding for community, volunteer, or amateur ensembles?

No. Due to the competitive nature of the Fund’s grant programs, community, volunteer, and amateur ensembles are generally not competitive for support. For specific inquiries, please inquire with the Grants Manager.

Does the Fund provide funding for educational institutions or initiatives?

No, educational institutions and organizations seeking funding for educational outreach may not apply for activities involving school-age students, student ensembles, or credit-bearing university activities. Such organizations may apply for performances or other eligible projects that involve professional musicians (including faculty).

Youth choruses that perform contemporary concert music specifically composed for children’s voices may be considered. Please inquire with the grants manager.

Does the Fund make grants for retroactive support?

The Performance and Supplemental Programs provide funding for programming that occurs between September of the current year through August of next year. The current programs provide funding for programming between September 1, 2023 and August 31, 2024. Activity that occurs before this period is no longer eligible. Activity that occurs after this period should be submitted as part of a future application.

The Recording Program provides funding for recordings that have not been released prior to the application deadline. The next Recording Program deadline is March 31, 2024. Recordings that will have been released before that date will no longer be eligible.

May I apply for more than one project per Recording Program grant round?

Commercial recording companies may submit up to three proposals per grant round. All other applicants are limited to one proposal per grant round.

Can I apply to the Fund for a commission?

No, the Fund does not provide grants for commissioning fees.

What is "contemporary concert music?"

The Fund considers music composed within the last 40 years to be contemporary. Concert music includes opera, orchestral and chamber music for instrumental and/or vocal ensembles, as well as concert music in experimental genres and similar formats. (For more information, please review program guidelines.)

If the composer has not yet completed the piece we’re planning to record, may we apply for a Recording Program grant?

No. Please submit an application at a future date once the piece has been completed.

I am part of a consortium project. Can I apply for funding?

Possibly. Please contact the Grants Manager with your specific inquiry.

What is "American? music?

Music by composers with U.S. citizenship, wherever they may live, as well as non-citizen composers who have lived and worked in the U.S. and its territories for a significant period.

May I apply to the Recording Program if my recording will only be released digitally?

Yes. If your project is funded, you will be required to post liner notes and credits to your website and to send the Grants Manager a digital file of the recording and related materials as proof of completion.

Can I apply to the Fund as an individual?

Fiscally sponsored individuals may apply for support in the Recording Program only; the Fund does not accept applications from individuals (fiscally sponsored or otherwise) for the Performance Program or Supplemental Program.

Individuals may find other grant opportunities on Candid.

Our organization does not have non-profit status. Can we apply?

Yes, provided you obtain fiscal sponsorship from a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status. Be sure to review program guidelines and application instructions to submit proper documentation.

Does the Fund give grants to arts organizations outside New York City?

Yes! Non-profit and fiscally sponsored organizations with eligible activity throughout the United States and internationally will be considered for funding from the Fund. Please note that organizations based outside the United States are only eligible for funding of works by American composers.

Will the Copland Fund consider funding for holiday or pops concerts?

No, but pops and holiday concerts will not have an adverse effect on your application if there is sufficient eligible contemporary concert music activity throughout your season.