North Dakota Music Teachers Association Affiliated with Music Teachers National Association
North Dakota MTA

Commissioned Composers

Commissioned Composer Chair

Tamara Bertram

The MTNA Commissioned Composer program is to encourage the creation of new works by American composers.

NDMTA has been an avid supporter of the MTNA Commissioned Composer program since 1964. Each year NDMTA, through MTNA, commissions a composer to write a work to be performed at the NDMTA Conference. The composition is submitted to the MTNA for consideration for performance at the MTNA national conference and the composer to be named the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year.

Information about how to become a Commissioned Composer is available at:

Commissioned Composers:

Year Composer Composition
1964 Daniel Goode, Fargo "Symphonia" for violin, cello & piano
1976 Theodore Duda, Bismarck "Cantata #3: All Love Shall Sleep" for baritone, viola, horn and cello
1977 Stuart Glazer, Valley City Sonata for Trumpet and Piano
1978 Robert Wharton, Grand Forks "Tangram" for piano, violin & tape
1979 Elwood Brown, Dickinson "Of Dreams" for voice, piano and two flutes
1980 Edwin Fissinger, Fargo "Arise Shine, for Thy Light is Come" for chorus
1981 Robert Larson, Minot "A Christ Cycle" for baritone and piano
1982 Richard H. Smith, Jamestown "The Shepherd' Christmas Song" for chorus
1983 Tom Porter, Mandan "Two Pieces for Woodwind Quintet"
1984 Stuart Glazer, Valley City "Inner City Nightscape" for flute and piano
1985 Elwood H. Brown, Dickinson "Ascension Motet" for chorus, trumpets and organ
1986 James Fry, Grand Forks "Homage for Violin, Clarinet and Piano"
1987 Herbert M. Parker Jr., Williston "Serenity" for piano
1988 Daniel Breeden, Fargo "A Musical Diary" for piano
1989 Tom Porter, Mandan "Prairie Sketches" for piano
1993 James Fry, Grand Forks "Kaleidoscope"(national winner) forpiano & clarinet
1994 Richard Neukom, Devils Lake "Devils Lake: Winter '93" for violin, viola and cello
1995 Karen Zeller, Fargo "If A Bird Would Sit On My Finger" for clarinet and flute
1996 Michael Balke, Grand Forks "Change of Heart" for jazz combo
1997 Carrie Kraft, Jamestown "Four Songs For Leaves of Grass" for men's chorus
1998 James Thornton, Minot A Trio written for piano, violin and euphonium
1999 William Tornow, Bismarck "Psalm 1" for soprano, clarinet and piano
2000 Melody Bober, Detroit Lakes, MN "Suite North Dakota" for euphonium, piano, flute and soprano
2001 Herb Parker, Williston "I Will Sing Praise to the Lord on High" for SATB choir a capella
2002 Dr. William Wieland, Aberdeen, SD "Abraham's Faith" for Wind ensemble
2003 Dr. Michael Wittgraff, Grand Forks "Child's Play" for clarinet and percussion
2004 Jocelyn Hagen, Valley City "Songs of Fields and Prairies" for soprano and piano
2005 Dr. Steven Sudduth, Dickinson "Fantasy for Trombone and Piano"
2006 Dr. Matthew Patnode, Fargo "Tangato" quintet for woodwinds, vibraphone, violin and bass
2007 Russell Peterson "Sonata for Piano"
2008 Troy Nies "The Best Laid Plans..." Inspired by the writings of John Steinbeck for oboe, Bb clarinet, bassoon and piano
2009 none
2010 Adam Hochhalter "Adagio" for piano
2011 Dr. Alan Carter "Musical Settings of Poems by Shel Silverstein"
2012 Mary Leaf Schneider "A'Cuimhneachadh - Remembering"
2013 Mike Halstenson "everything was as it should be"
2014 Tom Gerou "Circe Invidiosa: Sonata No. 1 for the Piano"
2014 Rebecca Raber "Jesu, dulcis memoria"
2015 Andrew Miller "Alleluia"
2016 Susan Clambey Suite Trio for Piano, Flute and Cello
2017 Michael Langer Delphia: A Portrait in Three Parts for Piano and Tape
2019 Dr. Nicholaus Meyers "A Brief Story" for Euphonium and Marimba
2020 Sean Neukom “19-20 for String Quartet (2020): Screens, Masks, Deception, Ashes”

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