Composer Competition

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Counterpoint Community Orchestra has been operating as a community orchestra in downtown Toronto for 35 years. Formed in 1984, it was the first LGBTQ+ orchestra in Canada and in the world. Counterpoint is a full symphony orchestra with repertoire drawn from the Baroque through to the contemporary periods. Rehearsals are held at the 519 Community Centre on Church Street.

Call for Applications

The deadline for submissions has passed. Please check back in September 2019 for results.

Counterpoint Community Orchestra (CCO) has been operating as a community orchestra in downtown Toronto for 35 years. It was the first LGBT/gay positive orchestra in Canada and in the world. CCO is offering $1,500 towards a 6 – 10 minute commission to celebrate their 35th season (2019-2020).

All material must be anonymous with the composer’s name replaced by a pseudonym. Jury members will receive applicant statements and links to support material, but no identifying information. One representative of CCO will be designated to track the name and contact info for each applicant.

There is no fee to apply.


Applicants must be Canadian citizens, or permanent resident of Canada

Program Details

The selected composer would be expected to take part in consultations with the conductor, and engage in dialogue through the rehearsal process. The selected composer is expected to attend the premiere performance of the commissioned piece—CCO could contribute some funds towards travel costs, support applications for travel funding for composers based outside of Toronto, and potentially support housing for a visiting composer.

The selected composer will receive a recording of the premiere performance.


We require that the commissioned piece include a dedication to the ensemble. Counterpoint will own the score and parts and would potentially remount the piece in future concert seasons.

Instrument and Ensemble Information

CCO is a member-run, non-audition community group consisting of strings (violin I and II, viola, cello, bass), paired flute (optional piccolo), oboe (optional English Horn), clarinet (optional bass clarinet) and bassoon, 4 horns, 2 trumpets and 2 trombones. Tuba and timpani/ other percussion are optional. Rehearsals are Monday evenings from 8 to 10 pm at the 519 Community Centre.


Date of Premiere

CCO reserves the right not to grant the commission.