Bang on a Can Media Workshop at MASS MoCA

July 22-29, 2018

An exploration of contemporary music criticism
and journalism 

This summer, we are launching a workshop for music critics and journalists! Bang on a Can, our special guest faculty, John Schaefer (of WNYC's New Sounds), and 4 writers in the early stages of their careers will gather at MASS MoCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA) to explore the role of criticism and journalism in today's dynamic contemporary music scene. Our aim is to help writers generate a vocabulary, syntax, and context that is most useful for readers/ listeners and to make modern music and criticism more accessible, welcoming, and exciting to all audiences.

The workshop will take place during the final week of the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA -- a residency and festival for composers and performers (13 faculty, 30 performers, and 9 composers) and will include daily meetings with John Schaefer and daily writing assignments. Additionally, participants will be "embedded" in one of the festival ensembles to follow a piece from rehearsal to performance, enabling more insights into the process of bringing music to the stage. The participants will be invited to write a final piece (feature) about their experience to be published on the New Sounds website

Participants in the workshop will:

  • meet with luminaries of the contemporary music field: Bang on a Can's artistic directors, our performance faculty, and our 2018 guest composer Steve Reich.
  • witness the process of building new works from composition, to rehearsal, to performance.
  • have access to "primary source material" i.e. the performers and composers.
  • learn tools for a successful interview.
  • be a part of a community of peers at a similar career stage.

Workshop Fee: $1,500 USD

The fee includes tuition, housing (shared hotel room close to museum), and meals (lunch and dinner Mon-Fri). The fee does not include travel expenses.

To apply, please email the following information to media [dot] workshop [at] bangonacan [dot] org:

• CV/resume.
• A short personal statement about your current projects and why you'd like to attend.
• Three (3) writing or radio/audio samples. Links preferred for audio samples.

Deadline for submissions is April 25, 2018, 5pm EST

Applicants will be notified on or before May 25, 2018 

Participants must be 21 years or older.

If you have any questions, please write to the festival manager, Philippa Thompson at philippa [at] bangonacan [dot] org

"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture."  - comedian Martin Mull