Sewanee Summer Music Festival (SSMF) was one of 27 American orchestras to be honored with a 2013-2014 ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming at the League of American Orchestras National Conference, which took place June 4-6 in Seattle, Washington. SSMF was named the the second place winner in the Festival category, along with first place winner Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (Santa Cruz, California) and third place recipient Aspen Music Festival and School (Aspen, Colorado).
Sewanee Summer Music Festival was chosen for this award because of its contemporary programming in the 2013-2014 season, featuring works from composers such as Mason Bates, Jan Bach, and Thomas Sleeper, as well as a commissioned piece by current SSMF artist-faculty member Sidney King. The League and ASCAP present the awards each year to orchestras of all sizes for programs that challenge the audience, build the repertoire, and increase interest in new music.
“We are humbled to be presented with this award,” said Katherine Lehman, SSMF director. “To be recognized by ASCAP and the League of American Orchestras is a huge honor. Sewanee Summer Music Festival believes the exploration of new music is vital to artistic and cultural growth, both in Middle Tennessee and in the global music arena.”
Sewanee Summer Music Festival at the University of the South is an internationally acclaimed summer festival combining a month-long program for advanced music students and a professional concert series. Selective enrollment of students from around the world, a unique curriculum, frequent performance opportunities and close mentoring with renowned artists position young SSMF musicians as leaders in a changing musical landscape.
This year’s Festival will be June 21–July 20 in Sewanee. A highlight of the 2014 repertoire is a world premiere of an original work by banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck on July 19. Other contemporary music highlights include Kevin Puts’s Millennium Canons, Michael Daughtery’s Raise the Roof for timpani and orchestra (featuring soloist John Kilkenny), and a performance of Fleck’s The Imposter at the July 20 concert finale.
Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization (PRO) representing the world's largest repertory totaling over 9 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 500,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. ASCAP protects the rights of its members and foreign affiliates by licensing the public performances of their copyrighted works and distributing royalties based upon surveyed performances. ASCAP is the only American PRO owned and governed by its writer and publisher members.