REC PRE image header

Recording Program Preliminary Round

We are not accepting applications for Recording Program Preliminary Round at this time.

2024 Recording Program Preliminary Round Guidelines
Deadline: November 30, 2023 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. Please review the full Recording Program Guidelines to ensure eligibility prior to beginning a Preliminary Round Application.

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


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 in the Recording Program guidelines 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.

How to Apply

NOTE: This is the first part in a two-part application process. Please review the full eligibility requirements in the Recording Program Guidelines prior to beginning an application for the Preliminary Round.

If your organization does not already have an account:

You will need to create a new account. Please allow 3-5 business days for approval. 

Please ensure that your organization does not already have an account before creating a new one; if you have an account, but do not have access to login credentials, please contact the Grants Manager.

If your organization already has an account:

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 are not sure whether your organization already has an account, please contact the Grants Manager.

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.

Preliminary Round applications should contain the following information. Please be as brief as possible. The Fund will not consider musical samples in the Preliminary Round.

  • Project Name: Album name or working title
  • Name of Record Label or Distributor
  • Project Release Date
  • Request Amount: (Note: Grants do not usually exceed $10,000 or more than 50% of the total cost of the project)
  • Total Cost of Project
  • Prior Recordings: Indicate whether any of the works have previously been recorded and released by anyone.
  • Repertoire: A complete list of works for which you are seeking funding, the composer, and the year of composition.
  • Personnel: A list of key project personnel, including soloists, guest artists, and ensembles with links to their websites, if available. Do not provide detailed biographies.
  • Project Summary: A brief description of the proposed project
  • Timetable: A detailed timeline for production, promotion, and distribution of the recording (a bulleted list is sufficient).

Review Procedures

Preliminary Round applications will be reviewed 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

Applicants invited to submit a complete proposal will be notified on or around February 15, 2024. The deadline to submit a complete a Recording Program grant application will be on or around March 31, 2024.

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 2024 Recording Program. No other applications will be considered.

Application Cycle and Deadline

  • November 30, 2023: Preliminary Round deadline
  • February 15, 2024: Preliminary Round notification via e-mail; invitation to apply to the Recording Program
  • March 28, 2024: Invitation Application Deadline

All deadlines end at 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time on the date specified.

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.


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)

Updated March 7, 2024

No FAQs have been added yet.