InConcert Sierra offers nine-month Composers Project series |

InConcert Sierra offers nine-month Composers Project series

Interested in composing music? Consider joining the Composers Project, a comprehensive music program through InConcert Sierra designed by education director and composer, Mark Vance. This unique program is a nine-month series for ages 12-25 that provides in-depth instruction in composition, notation software, conducting, melodic and rhythmic dictation, theory, harmony, music history, ear training, solfege and rehearsal/performance techniques. The students will also have access to input and master classes by renowned musicians and composers who perform for InConcert’s Third Sunday Series (this season may be either live and/or via Zoom).

During the nine-month program, students will write two original compositions: one piece for voice accompanied by the student’s instrument of choice and a second composition for solo instrument or ensemble. Both works will be premiered by professional musicians.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the classes are currently held via Zoom and will continue online until it is safe to meet in person.

The students

There are currently eleven students enrolled in the program, with room for up to five additional students. The final concert for the previous, 2019-20 season, performed by professional musicians, will be presented virtually on Oct. 20 on InConcert Sierra’s YouTube channel.  Each student will, additionally, receive a link to the recording of their work.

One student noted, “The feeling of listening to music can only be rivaled by the creation of music itself. I truly have so much that I could say about how incredible this course is, it really is one of the purest places of learning, fun, and discussion I have ever been in. I have met so many absolutely incredible people through this program and I honestly hope I stay friends with all of them for many years to come.”

Mark Vance received his education at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and studied composition with notables such as Pierre Boulez, Aaron Copland, and Gunther Schuller, and voice with Robert McFerrin, Sr. His instrumental studies included clarinet, flute, alto saxophone, piano, guitar and voice. He is published with Santa Barbara Music Publishing and C. Alan Publications, and has had many local commissions by InConcert Sierra, Music in the Mountains, Nevada Union High School Choral Program, as well as by many private sources. He is also the executive director of the Nevada County Composers Cooperative. Vance and his wife Estelle Barber have five grown sons and two grandsons.

Applications are currently being accepted online at  The 9-month course is $1,075 for new students and $975 for returning students. Payment plans are available.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User