I got some great news recently – in addition to my three new compositions getting published by Alfred Publishing next year, two more pieces (Pioneer Sky and Woodpecker Cha Cha) will be published next year by Wingert-Jones Publishing! Here's the story of how this came about:
I've been working with Alfred Publishing for nearly 15 years now and they've included one to three of my compositions in their String Orchestra catalog every year. All the while, my editors have reminded me that we don't have an exclusive contract and that it's not uncommon for composers to get deals with several different publishers. So every once in a while I sent a portfolio of music to Kjos, Carl Fisher, or Hal Leonard and always received a nice rejection letter explaining that they're not looking to expand their stable of composers. Even when I introduced myself as the composer of Gauntlet and mentioned the enormous success that Alfred was enjoying with my publications, they still weren't impressed enough to accept my submissions. Eventually, I got bored with the rejection and stopped trying to get their attention. Alfred has been more than happy to work with me and I'm happy to work with them.
Then, out of the blue this past summer, I got an e-mail from the String Editor at Wingert-Jones, a small but well-established music publisher looking to expand its String Orchestra catalog. He knew me by reputation and invited me to submit some music for their 2014 catalog, which I did. This week, he wrote back to tell me that two of the five pieces I sent have been selected for publication!
I normally send Alfred Publishing about nine pieces of various levels and styles each year and they take two or three of those. That means that about 70% of the music I write goes unpublished. When they pass over a piece of music, it's often not that they don't like it, it's because it doesn't fit their needs at the moment. Maybe they found another piece with a similar style or one that covers the same playing technique or they need more beginner-level pieces to create a well-rounded catalog. I've re-submitted music to Alfred and occasionally the timing is better on the second pass.
Alfred has been great to me over the years and I'll always give them the first (and sometimes second) opportunity to publish any String Orchestra music I write. But now, with Wingert-Jones, I have an additional outlet for some of the great music that was previously shelved.
So I hope you look for my two new pieces next year from Wingert-Jones as well as my three new pieces from Alfred! It should be an exciting time!