Future of Publishing and Music Education Debated plus Awards Announced at MPA Annual Meeting

The annual get together of members of the Music Publishers Association of the United States at the Redbury Hotel in New York City combined a luncheon, legal and copyright updates, lively panel discussions, and an award ceremony, and concluded with a cocktail hour.

Written By

Frank J. Oteri

Frank J. Oteri is an ASCAP-award winning composer and music journalist. Among his compositions are Already Yesterday or Still Tomorrow for orchestra, the "performance oratorio" MACHUNAS, the 1/4-tone sax quartet Fair and Balanced?, and the 1/6-tone rock band suite Imagined Overtures. His compositions are represented by Black Tea Music. Oteri is the Vice President of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) and is Composer Advocate at New Music USA where he has been the Editor of its web magazine,, since its founding in 1999.

As in previous years, the annual get together of members of the Music Publishers Association of the United States at the Redbury Hotel in New York City combined a luncheon, legal and copyright updates, lively panel discussions, and an award ceremony, and concluded with a cocktail hour featuring live jazz performed by the John Murchison Trio.

After opening remarks by MPA President Sean Patrick Flahaven of The Musical Co., entertainment, media, copyright and trademark lawyer Corey Field provided the members with a legal update on matters relating to music publishing and copyright. According to Field, there has been a great deal of legislation in the past twelve months related to the interests of music publishers, perhaps the most significant being the August 4, 2016 ruling mandated full work licensing which is still being challenged by ASCAP and BMI since fractional licensing, which has been the standard practice prior to this ruling makes it easier to distribute revenue collected for works that are created by collaborators who are not necessarily members of the same PRO. Field sees this ruling as part of a trend toward greater consolidation in licensing. Yet despite this trend, Field also pointed out that there is now a fourth performing rights organization in the United States (in addition to ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC) named GMR (Global Music Rights). Though GMR boasts representing a mere .006% of the current music marketplace and only 70 members, those members include Bruce Springsteen and Don Henley as well as the estates of Prince and Ira Gershwin.

MPA annual meeting attendees looking at monitor display showing all the legal cases relevant to publishers from the past 12 months.

Corey Field’s powerpoint included a list of all the legal cases from teh past 12 months that had an impact on music pubilshers. There was lots of small print.

Record and music publishing industry veteran Jay R. Morgenstern, who is currently the Executive Vice President/General Manager of Warner Chappell Music Inc. was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Although he was not able to attend, four of his six grandchildren came to the podium to accept the award on his behalf. Immediately following that, the Paul Revere Awards for Graphic Excellence were announced by Brittain Ashford, Administrative Director for the Music Publishers Association. Two scores by Daniel Dorff and two scores by the Argentinian composer Albert Ginastera, whose centenary was celebrated last year, fetched first prize honors, and other publications so honored were scores of works by Charles Ives, Elliott Carter, and Mark Patterson. Among scores receiving second or third prizes for their engraving and overall appearance were works by Michael Daugherty, Aaron Jay Kernis, Paul Moravec, Scott Wollschleger, two compositions by Hannah Lash, and a solo viola sonata that John Harbison composed in his early 20s. As in last year’s awards, there is no longer an award category for “Publications for Electronic Distribution” since at this point publishers can submit digital scores for consideration in any of the other categories.  A complete list of winning publications in the 13 different award categories appears below.

Full Scores
1st Prize – Daniel Dorff: Summer Solstice (Theodore Presser Company)
2nd Prize – Claude Vivier: Liebesgedichte (Boosey & Hawkes)
3rd Prize – Peter J. Wilhousky: Battle Hymn of the Republic (Carl Fischer, LLC)

Chamber Ensembles (scores and parts)
1st Prize – Charles Ives: String Quartet No. 2 (Peermusic Classical)
2nd Prize – Hannah Lash: How to Remember Seeds (Schott Music Corporation)
3rd Prize – Scott Wollschleger: Brontal Symmetry (Schott Music Corporation)

Choral Music
1st Prize – Mark Patterson: Stand with the Brave (Carl Fischer, LLC)
2nd Prize – Benjamin Wegner: He Leadeth Me (ECS Publishing Group)
3rd Prize – Paul Moravec: Mass in D (Subito Music Corporation)

Keyboard Music
1st Prize – Alberto Ginastera: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Boosey & Hawkes)
2nd Prize (tie) –
Jacques Ibert: Histories (Alfred Music)
F. Chopin: Scherzos, opp. 30, 31, 29, 54 (Alfred Music)
3rd Prize – Hannah Lash: Ludus (Schott Music Corporation)

Guitar Music
1st Prize – Chinese Music for Guitar (Hal Leonard)
2nd Prize – The Young Beginner Guitar Method, Christmas Book 3 (The FJH Music Co. Inc.)

Piano-Vocal Music
1st Prize – Alberto Ginastera: Bomarzo, vocal score from the opera (Boosey & Hawkes)
2nd Prize – The Essential Collection for the Church Soloist, Vol. II (Hope Publishing Co.)
3rd Prize – Aaron Jay Kernis: Two Songs: “Love” and “Spirit” (G. Schirmer/Associated Music Publishers)

Solos with Accompaniment
1st Prize – Daniel Dorff: Serenade for flute and harp (Theodore Presser Company)
2nd Prize – Morton Lauridsen: O Magnum Mysterium for violin and piano (Peermusic Classical)
3rd Prize – Edward Knight: Nevertheless, She Persisted for French horn and piano (Subito Music Corporation)

Solos without Accompaniment
1st Prize – Elliott Carter: Retracings V for solo trombone (Boosey & Hawkes)
2nd Prize – John H. Beck: Encounters for solo timpani (Kendor Music)
3rd Prize – John Harbison: Sonata for Viola Alone (1961) (Gems Music Publications)

Collated Music (Band, Orchestra, or Large Ensemble, Score & Parts)
1st Prize – W. A. Mozart: “Voi Che Sapete” arranged for string orchestra by John Caponegro (Kendor Music)
2nd Prize – Erik Morales: Keepers of the Fire for concert band (The FJH Music Co. Inc.)
3rd Prize – Maurice Jarre: Lawrence of Arabia arranged for concert band by Alfred Reed (Keiser Southern Music)

Cover Design Featuring Photography
1st Prize – Benjamin Whitcomb: Bass Fingerings (Wingert-Jones Publications)
2nd Prize – Michael Daugherty: Bay of Pigs (Hendon Music/Boosey & Hawkes)

Cover Design Featuring Graphic Elements
1st Prize – Frank Battisti: The Conductor’s Challenge (Meredith Music Publications)
2nd Prize (tie) –
John Carter: Jazz Miniatures (ECS Publishing Group)
José Hernández: Canta, Mariachi, Canta! (Hal Leonard)
3rd Prize – Darren Fellows: New Studies for Trumpet (Kendor Music)

Design in Folios: Popular Music
1st Prize – Pearl Jam Anthology, Complete Scores (Hal Leonard)
2nd Prize – Led Zeppelin: The Complete Studio Recordings (Alfred Music)
3rd Prize – My First Gershwin Song Book (Hal Leonard)

Design in Folios: Concert & Educational Music
1st Prize – Endre Granat: The Heifetz Scale Book (Keiser Southern Music)
2nd Prize – Mickey’s Found Sounds (Hal Leonard)

Sheet music scores arranged on a table.

As in previous years, Paul Revere nominated scores were on display.

The engraving judges were Katharina Hoezenecker, Librarian for the Berlin Philharmonic, and Tony Rickard, Music Library Manager for Royal Opera House at Covent Garden. Graphics judges were, as per last year, Mallory Grigg, Art Director at Alloy Entertainment and Nim Ben-Reuven, a freelance designer and graphics editor working primarily in print.

Following the Paul Revere Awards, there were screenings of the 2017 MPA & National Music Council Scholarship Finalists for copyright awareness videos. (You can see last year’s honorees here.)

Jason Varga, Ann Gregg, Jim Frankel, Marcia Neel, and Mendy Varga

Jason Varga, Ann Gregg, Jim Frankel, Marcia Neel, and Mendy Varga

Then Mendy Varga from Kendor Music moderated a discussion about the future of music in public education for which she was joined by Jim Frankel, Ann Gregg, Marcia Neel, and Jason Varga. Marcia Neel spoke about how engaged students in the Southwest are learning mariachi music, claiming that, if we want to keep students interested, “we need to look beyond the traditional trinity of band, choir, and orchestra.” Although panelist Jim Frankel is the head of digital education for the Music Sales Group, he pointed out that the transition from print sheet music to scores displayed on digital monitors is not happening in schools: “There isn’t enough budget for that and there won’t be twenty years from now.” He also acknowledged that “print is awesome in the music classroom.”

Then EAMDC/Schott Promotion Manager Chris Watford, Ian McLoughlin, manager for instrumental product sales and product development at J.W. Pepper, and self-published composer Dennis Tobenski, who runs an online distribution platform for other self publishers called New Music Shelf, participated in a discussion about how the digital realm has transformed the music publishing marketplace. American Composers Alliance Director Gina Genova was also scheduled to participate in this panel but was unable to attend though thankfully she provided detailed answers to all the questions that were distributed to the panel in advance. (Ed note: I served as the moderator for this one.)