Queens New Music Festival 2020
Call for Performance Proposals
Random Access Music 
“We, the Whole People”
Inquiries and Proposals:
email to info@ram-nyc.org

Random Access Music (RAM) is pleased to announce the 2020 Queens New Music Festival (QNMF) Call for Performance Proposals for individual performers and ensembles.  RAM/QNMF will present live concerts of new music by some of the best ensembles and individual performers from New York and around the world by offering performance space and logistical help to performers that further the mission of performing new music.

Random Access Music’s 2020 Queens New Music Festival is honoring the centenary of the 19th Amendment, which extended women's suffrage throughout the United States. The theme of the festival, “We, the Whole People”, is based on a quote from Susan B. Anthony’s speech after her arrest for voting in the 1872 presidential election, "It was... we, the whole people, who formed the union.”

The mission of the festival is to bring new music front and center to Queens and to contribute to the cultural life of the borough. The 9th Annual Queens New Music Festival will take place May 13-16, 2020 at the Secret Theatre – celebrating new music rooted in the contemporary concert music tradition along with music from the experimental jazz, world, and other musical spheres. The festival will feature concerts by proposal winners and invited guests, as well as the RAM Players and Composers.

We ask that your program proposals reflect the theme of the festival. Examples: use the history of the fight for women's suffrage as a metaphor for all people who have had to, and continue to, struggle for equality - to be seen and heard; feature music by female composers of the past 100 years; perform new works on the theme of suffrage.

Programs will be selected from the call by a panel of judges consisting of composers and performers of Random Access Music. Those selected will receive box office revenue, performance space, and logistical help. Proposals will be accepted until February 1, 2020, 11:59 PM. Please read below for complete details.


The call is open to any musician or ensemble that specializes in performing contemporary concert/classical music as well as any musician or group that substantially incorporates contemporary concert musical influences, comes out of its practices, is akin to it, or is a blend of contemporary concert music and other genres (which may include but are not limited to: jazz, world, rock, pop, latin, dance, etc.; traditional expressions of these forms are not eligible). Any genre or style will be accepted as long as its connection to contemporary concert/classical music is made clear in the proposal and samples. The proposed program must be comprised entirely of music written in the last 100 years or by living composers.



The Festival will take place over four days: May 13 - 16, 2020. Concerts will take place in the evenings of May 13, 14, and 15, and in the afternoon and evening of May 16.



All concerts will take place at the Secret Theatre 44-02 23rd Street, Long Island City (LIC), NY. The Secret Theatre is a custom-built theatre and rehearsal room facility in the heart of LIC's artists’ quarter that can comfortably seat 99 patrons in a 3/4-round seating space. The Secret Theatre is located 3 blocks from the PS1 Art Museum and 4 blocks from the 7, E, G, M, W, N, and F trains. Long Island City is rapidly growing and diversifying with multiple restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. LIC is also an arts center in Queens with the Long Island City Artists Corporation, 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center, MoMa PS1, 
SculptureCenter, Dorsky Gallery
, Noguchi Museum
, Socrates Sculpture Park, 
Fisher Landau Center for Art, 
Flux Factory, and the 
Museum of the Moving Image. The QNMF runs concurrently with the Long Island City Arts Open.



RAM is accepting acoustic, electro-acoustic, and electronic music proposals from individuals or groups of all styles of concert hall new music as well as individuals or groups whose music comes from the concert hall tradition, is akin to it, or blends contemporary concert music with other genres. Soloists or groups that come from jazz, pop, rock, r&b, dance, or other genres must demonstrate a convergence with contemporary concert music through their samples and proposal narrative. The festival’s emphasis is on “concert hall” music (sometimes referred to as “classical”) while also showcasing experimental or creative ventures in other genres.


Ensembles or individuals chosen for the festival will be given approximately 60 minutes of technical rehearsal time in the venue during May 13-16, depending on the performance date. Set-up time during the festival will be approximately 30 minutes. Performances will be limited to approximately 75 minutes—including applause, change-over, or non-performance related activity.



The agreement between RAM and the performing ensembles will stipulate that 85% of ticket sales will be given to the performing group or soloist, RAM will retain 15%. RAM will provide the venue, marketing of the festival as a whole, and logistical support for each act; and other than proceeds from ticket sales, no performers’ fees can be offered. Video or audio recording may occur for archival purposes. A sound engineer and a stagehand may be available from the Secret Theatre. Access to certain other amenities, such as video projection, lighting design, etc. at the venue is available, but has been subject to change and a possible rental charge from Secret Theatre, which RAM does not cover; RAM will confirm what is available when the winning proposals are announced. The Secret Theatre will provide box office services for the concerts as well as snacks and drinks for purchase by the audience. Participants will need to arrange their own travel and cartage.



All program proposals must be submitted via email to info@ram-nyc.org. The proposal should be no longer than 2 pages, must be submitted as a PDF document, and must include the following information:

• Name of the ensemble or individual artist(s)

• Names of ensemble artistic personnel (online links to artist bios are encouraged)

• A short description (1 to 2 paragraphs) of the proposed concert; how it reflects the festival’s theme; titles, composers, and approximate lengths of the works to be performed. Programs must contain a minimum of 1 hour of performance time (including applause, etc.). For individuals or groups that blend contemporary classical music or are experimental within their own genres, please explain here how the music you do comes out of the contemporary concert tradition, is akin to it, or is a blend of classical/concert music and your respective genre. Individuals or ensembles that specialize in improvisatory music, please describe the improvisational process and the type of music you will present. Please also include any technical needs required for the performance.


• 2-5 online links to audio/video of the performing ensemble. If links are not available, please submit 1 or 2 MP3 clips of representative live performances via email or file sharing websites. No studio or commercial recordings will be accepted, only recordings of live performances.

• Email address and name of contact person

• Any dates/times that cannot be scheduled by your ensemble

• 1 paragraph detailing recent concert attendance (include number of established audience, the actual audience size along with the name of a specific venue, or a reasonable estimate of the size of the audience that might attend your performance at the Queens New Music Festival).



The panel reserves the right disqualify proposals that do not provide all information required for consideration. Proposals will be judged on artistic quality, how it reflects the festival’s theme, the appeal of the program, and the ability to draw an audience. After artistic quality is vetted, preference will be given to proposals with a well-planned program and to performers who show past success or strong future potential to build an audience for new music concerts.



The call closes on February 1, 2020, 11:59 PM. Decisions will be made by February 13, 2020.

More information about Random Access Music and the Queens New Music Festival:

Inquiries and Proposals: email to info@ram-nyc.org