Sounding 2020 is a 5-year commissioning project dedicated to highlighting current humanitarian and environmental issues through the generation and performance of new orchestral works.

It facilitates the pairing of individuals, groups or organizations interested commissioning a piece of music about a specific topic with composers, and then presents these works in concert.

Up to 10 new works (no more than two each year) will be commissioned and performed between 2016-2020. Cayenna Ponchione will facilitate the collaboration between commissioners and composers and see the works through to performance.

SOUNDING 2020 is now on Facebook! Follow the timeline for up-to-date news on new projects and commissions.

2016: We Are Seneca Lake Commissioning Project FULLY FUNDED through crowd sourcing in 2016! Read more here...
2017: A Polyphony of Personalities: Celebrating the Diversity of Humanity For the Mental Health Association in Tompkins County
2018: Sprouts from the Rubble A new piece by Max Buckholtz for all refugees who have suffered through war and cviil unrest
2019: Sounds of Peace New musical voices from Afghanistan including an original orchestral composition by one of Afghanistan's brightest young musical talents, Arson Fahim
2020: Your Project Here!

Why would I want to commission a piece of music?
There are many reasons to consider commissioning an orchestral composition and here are just a few...

  • Music can communicate and express values and experiences poignantly--engaging people emotionally around issues which may otherwise seem academic or far from home.
  • The concert performance provides an audience who are interested in the inspiration behind the commission. Often it is appropriate and even desirable to have a short presentation about the new piece before it is performed to provide a context for what the audience is about to hear.
  • Concert programmes and posters are another medium in which information about a cause or issue can be publicised or presented in detail.
  • Anytime an orchestral piece is rehearsed and performed, it comes in contact with many individuals in potentially transformative ways.

  • What would I commission a piece of music about?
    This really depends on you. Perhaps you have been inspired by others’ activist work and wish to highlight the contributions of an individual or a group. Maybe there is a current event or movement which you feel needs more awareness or attention. Perhaps you came into contact with a piece of artwork that transformed your own relationship to humanitarian or environmental concerns and by commissioning a musical composition you could bring to light a particular issue that is close to your heart. If you are passionate about it, share that passion with others through music!

    How much money do I really need to commission an orchestral work?
    This varies widely depending on the composer, but is often more affordable that one might think. Cayenna Ponchione has connections with a large number of composers at various stages in their careers and would work to pair commissioners with composers so that the collaboration is mutually beneficial. As a guide, commissioning fees for this project may run from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.

    How do I apply?
    As there are a limited number of places in this commissioning project, interested commissioners need to submit an application linked here. Up to two new pieces will be performed each year beginning in 2016. The application process is rolling, but earlier applications will have more opportunities to be considered.

    Fill out the pdf form and email to Cayenna Ponchione

    Questions and contact information
    If you have any questions or wish to discuss your application in advance, you may email Cayenna Ponchione at Cayenna Ponchione