Re: Attendance Requirement

Subject: Re: Attendance Requirement
From: David Mooney (
Date: Sun Jan 30 2005 - 11:46:42 EST

Kevin Austin wrote:
> If the object is to have one's work heard, web posting and other
> means of distribution may be more effective. At a conference, the
> work is heard once, by those in attendance.

Those in attendance are likely to be people who have an
educated appreciation for the music they hear. Response from
this audience (positive or negative--feedback is
information) is valuable and helpful. And, of course, is an
argument for attending. However, when not required to
attend, the acceptance/rejection of the work, by whatever
selection process, is also good feedback from this same
select community, as is knowing that it will be heard in a
concert setting. Posting to the web does get the music
heard, but it's not exactly the same as hearing a piece
distributed over multiple speakers in a large listening

> How many people would pay the registration fee to go to a conference
> where few (or none) of the composers are present?

A lot of composers do attend regardless of any requirement
to do so.

> What are some of the options given the harsher economic realities.

This is the root of my point. It's harsher also for those of
us attending. I can afford to attend maybe two events a
year, depending on where they are. I would happily go to
many more if I could, whether or not my music is played.
Knowing this it's necessary to make difficult choices about
where to submit work. Often the timing is an issue. If I
choose to enter event A, notification of acceptance, or not,
may be many months later. In the meantime, I feel ethically
constrained not to submit works for events B and C (which
also have attendance requirements), because I will not know
the results of A until the submission deadline for B and C
have passed. Thus the attendance requirment has a sort of
ripple effect beyond one given event and is seriously
detrimental to getting works heard in such settings.

I don't have a solution to the costs of putting on a
conference or concert series, but it seems to me that with
the growing number of events and what seems to be a high
number of entries for each one, there are enough of us
around who can attend enough events that the attendance
requirement isn't needed.

David Mooney

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