An Open Letter to Directors & Performers

Dear Directors of Ensembles and Performers,

I recently addressed composers in a blog entry about maximizing your performance royalties from ASCAP. In it, I provided basic step-by-step instructions starting with joining ASCAP and registering all of your works. The second step is to gather concert programs and performance information.

This is where you, the performers & conductors of said works,  come in.

Let me begin by saying that I wear all of these hats (composer, performer, director) and constantly have to remind myself to tell composers that I have programmed their works. I have certainly been guilty of concentrating on the upcoming concert or recital that I forgot to contact the living composer(s) represented on the program.

As a composer, I spend time each week trying to track down information about any and every performance of my works. I then contact the directors and/or performers to request a concert program. I like this process. I really do. However, with just a little bit of help from you, this process can be even more streamlined & efficient.

After the ASCAP blog post, a performer friend (Ball State percussionist Ryan Bischoff) shared it on Facebook with a few bullet points as to why he will always report performances to composers and send them programs:

  1. Composers like to hear that their music is getting played.
  2. It's simple to help them out. All you have to do is send them a PDF of the program or even just a photo of it.
    *If you don't have a scanner but have a smartphone, there are plenty of apps out there for taking a photo of something & saving it as a PDF (e.g. Piksoft's TurboScan).
  3. You might even get some good publicity, because some composers will mention your performance on their website or social media.

I have made it easy to report performances on my website. Just visit the Report Your Performances page, fill out the form, and click the link to email a program.

At the end of the day, composers love to hear about performances of their works. Something else to consider is that performance royalties make up a percentage of a composer's income. I'd say that about 90% of my performance royalties from ASCAP are the result of my own reporting.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to tell us about your performances.

Sincerely,
A Recently Enlightened Composer & Performer

P.S. In case you missed the link buried in the text above . . .