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Society for New Music


Founded in 1971, the Society's purpose is to act as a catalyst for the continued growth of the central New York musical community by commissioning new works, through advocacy (e.g. Society News and Fresh Ink on WCNY-FM & its Watertown & Utica affiliates & streaming online at ), by featuring regional composers alongside guest composers, providing regional musicians an opportunity to perform the music of their peers in order to gain new skills and techniques which they then share with their students, and by bringing new music to as broad an audience as possible through performances, broadcasts & on the web.

The Society has grown from five concerts to approximately 30 per season, plus workshops and masterclasses, in addition to funding composers-in-residence in inner-city schools.
The Society provides a format for living composers in the same way galleries provide a format for visual artists, and is the only year-round new music organization in New York State outside of Manhattan.
The Society received 4 ASCAP/Chamber Music America programming awards. In 1994 Neva Pilgrim & the Society received ACA’s ‘Laurel Leaf’ Award. In 1999 the Society was the NYS representative for the national "Continental Harmony" Millennium commissioning project. In March 2001 the Society hosted the National SCI Conference. In 2001 the Society was honored with a NYS Governor’s Arts Award, the only music organization among the 11 awardees. In May 2010 Neva Pilgrim & the Society received an award from the American Music Center for “extraordinary contribution to the world of contemporary music in this country