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Professional Development Program

With Pulitzer Prize–winning Composer-in-Residence
Melinda Wagner of the Juilliard School

May 28 - June 2 | Madison, WI

Application Period: November 15, 2023 - February 1, 2024

No Application Fee | Program Tuition: $849

The Composers Hub Professional Development Program is an annual week-long intensive designed to provide extraordinary experiences to women composers in their growing professional careers, attracting applicants from around the world. This comprehensive program develops musicianship at the highest level within a nurturing and supportive environment.


Women have been historically underrepresented in the field of composition and works by contemporary women composers continue to be an unfortunate scarcity on most classical concert programs. According to a study of the top 21 ensembles in the United States, Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy learned that performances of works by women will account for only 10.5% of what audiences will hear in their 2023-24 seasons. At LunART, 100% of our programming is dedicated to women artists. 


In a typical composition workshop, women are the vast minority, and Composers Hub provides a rare opportunity for ambitious women musicians to develop professionally and personally among others with shared experiences. We strive to close the gender gap by providing our composers with career tools to excel in the competitive world of music. 

In order to offer personalized attention for the participants, no more than six composers will be chosen for the workshop.


Melinda Wagner, Composer-in-Residence

The Julliard School | 1999 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Tools and Benefits:

  • Private lessons and masterclasses with an internationally acclaimed 2024 composer-in-residence, Melinda Wagner

  • Business lectures on topics rarely addressed in a conservatory setting, such as marketing, grant writing and copyright law for artists

  • A well-rounded approach to career development and collaboration, catered toward the independent composer

  • Mentorship and fellowship with professional women representing a range of creative disciplines

  • Discussions addressing topics central and unique to women composers

  • Career-enhancing networking opportunities

  • Personalized attention and sessions tailored to your compositional interests and needs, within a selective cohort of six fellow composers

  • Performance of the submitted composition at the festival alongside the finest contemporary works

  • Workshop with festival musicians and/or rehearsal with performers 

  • Professional audio and 4-camera angle video recording of the live performance of the submitted composition

  • Admission to all 2024 festival events

  • A personalized one-on-one finance and career coaching with the Artistic Wealth Coach 

DOWNLOAD Daily Sample Schedule 




Eligible participants:

  • Open to women composers, transgender and ciswomen

  • Ages 18 and up

  • Composers at the earlier stages of their composition careers, meaning:

    • limited professional performances of works

    • not yet published and/or recorded professionally

    • those seeking tools to enhance their composition careers

    • composers who are interested in constructive feedback and support on a current work

Submitted works should be:

  • Written no earlier than January 1, 2021

  • 7-10 minutes in length

  • Single or multi-movement work not previously recorded or published

  • Scored for one to six players; see available instruments and ensemble types below

  • Work must be completed. However, minor changes are acceptable. Accepted applicants must provide the finalized scores by March 15, 2024.

Required submission materials:

    • Brief Bio (100 words)

    • Short essay (200-250 words), which will determine your candidacy for Composers Hub, addressing the following:

      • Why do you believe you are a good fit for this program? 

      • What do you hope to gain from this experience, and why would you like to participate?

    • PDF of score. Scores must be created by a standard notation software such as Finale or Sibelius. Format as 8 ½ x 11.

    • MIDI recording of the work

Submission guidelines:

  • All materials must be submitted no later than January 15, 2024, 11:59pm (Central Time)

  • Late submissions will not be accepted

  • Files must be uploaded through the LunART website during the submission period (application form will be active starting November 15, 2023)

Successful applicants will be notified by March 1, 2024



Transportation to and from the festival is the responsibility of the participant. 


Housing and Parking Accommodations:

All lodging and meal expenses are the responsibility of the participants, in addition to program tuition. Single rooms with a private bathroom are available at an approximate rate of $70 per night, located right on the beautiful University of Wisconsin-Madison campus at the Lowell Center. Just steps away from Lake Mendota, the Lowell Center is walkable to most of the festival venues. First United Methodist Church, where most of the Composers Hub sessions take place, is a 12-minute walk, 8-minute bus ride, 4-minute bike ride, and a 3-minute trip by car from the Lowell Center. 


The festival will provide a list of hotel options located in downtown Madison. Participants are responsible for making their own hotel reservations.


Parking is available free of charge at some festival venues. Street parking (metered and free) and ramps are located within easy walking distance to the Lowell Center and all performance venues.


For more information about the housing, please contact our Educational Program Manager, Marie Pauls: 

See what Composers Hub is all about! 



  • String quartet

  • Violin

  • Viola

  • Cello

  • Bass


  • Wind quintet

  • Flute (piccolo, alto)

  • Clarinet (bass clarinet)

  • Oboe (English horn)

  • Bassoon


  • Trumpet

  • French horn

  • Trombone

  • Tuba

Any voice type, as a solo vocal part or a member of an ensemble.



If your composition involves a prepared piano, kindly reach out to us prior to submission. It's important to be aware that the concert hall only accommodates one piano, and therefore, pieces intended for two pianos will not be considered.


If your work includes percussion, please contact us about intended instrumentation. Percussion instruments available for the festival are limited.

Questions about the program?
Contact Educational Program Manager, Marie Pauls:

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Dorothy Chang
2023 Composer-in-Residence

I'm so impressed with the program, the offerings, the professionalism, the diversity, the top-notch productions, and of course, the incredible opportunities for women composers. I don’t know of anything else like (Composers Hub) and I would highly recommend it. I wish I had had this experience.

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Alison Ogden
2023 Cohort

LunART was an amazing experience: women supporting women in a safe space. So needed and so important. It was an incredibly inspiring experience.

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Lauren Conklin
2023 Cohort

This truly was an incredibly inspiring and unforgettable experience for me. I am so so grateful to have been given the chance to be a part of this very special festival. I have learned so much about composition and about myself, and have gained confidence in many areas of my life and work even from this short experience. I am still buzzing from it a week later! Thank you everyone.

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Dinah Bianchi
2022 Cohort

I am greatly appreciative of the opportunity to attend the LunART Festival this year and to participate as a Hub member. The experience was immersive and enriching and am looking forward to seeing how LunART continues to amaze us all moving forward!

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