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Luna Composition Lab - A Partnership with Face the Music

Meet the 2018 Luna Composition Lab Fellows! Click here.

Support Luna Lab! To make a donation, call 212 501 3350.

Luna Lab is seeking an Operations & Development Manager. Learn more.

About Luna Lab

Kaufman Music Center has teamed up with acclaimed composers Missy Mazzoli, Ellen Reid, Reena Esmail, Kristin Kuster, Gity Razaz and Tamar Muskal to launch the second year of Luna Composition Lab, a program intended to inspire girls and young women to compose. In its first year the program garnered attention from the New York Times, The New Yorker, Musical America, The Huffington Post and NY1 News, fostered the creation of three ambitious new works by our fellows, and culminated in a sold-out concert of their works at Brooklyn venue Roulette. Encouraged by this successful launch, Luna Lab has expanded to include five young composers and five mentors, and has expanded its scope to include promising young female composers from all over the country. 

Female composers continue to make up the small minority of professional composers who are consistently performed, recorded and celebrated. We experience a lack of role models and a lack of encouragement to compose at an early age.
To address this gender imbalance, Luna Composition Lab provides aspiring young female composers with:

  • One-on-one mentorship and bimonthy lessons with an established female composer
  • Performance opportunity in New York City as part of the Face the Music concert season
  • High-quality recording of their work
  • Instant access to a network of professional performers and composers as well as the chance to meet other aspiring young female composers.



  • New Amsterdam Records
  • National Sawdust
  • New York Philharmonic's Very Young Composers Program
  • Contemporaneous Ensemble

Any composer eighth grade to rising college freshman who identifies as female or gender non-conforming. Composers who have already participated in Luna Lab are asked to wait a year before applying again.


  1. Register for the Call for Scores program by calling the 212 501 3360.  There is a $40 registration fee.  If selected, there is a $560 tuition fee. (Full and partial scholarships are available to qualified students.)
  2. Submit a score (and a recording if one is available, MIDI is acceptable) of one original composition via email to lunalab@kaufmanmusiccenter.org. Accepted fellows will be notified by Nov 6, 2017.
    Questions? Email lunalab@kaufmanmusiccenter.org.

Luna Composition Lab members pay and participate in the same way as other Face the Music Composer-Performers. All students must participate in the Performance Program. Luna Lab members must rehearse and perform in one Face the Music piece other than their own.

    $40 Registration Fee
    $600 Performance Program Tuition
    = $640 total

To apply for Financial Aid, call the Registrar's Office at 212 501 3364 or 212 501 3360

Tuition covers a small part of the total cost per fellow to run Luna Lab, and remaining costs are covered by our generous funders: The BMI Foundation, The Cheswatyr Foundation, The Patrina Foundation, New York Community Trust, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, and the Witherspoon Fund.

Maya Johnson is the recipient of the Griselda Villanueva Fellowship.
Caroline Bragg is The Patrina Foundation Fellow.

Luna Composition Lab is divided into three cycles within Face the Music's own season. Over the course of the three cycles, young female composers will create a new piece of music to be performed at a concert the end of the third cycle.

First Cycle | Exploration: November - December
The mentors and mentees will meet via Skype or another online platform every two weeks for 45 minutes. The work of this cycle centers around sonic exploration and education. Through early sketches, conversations, directed listening and score study, the composition teacher will guide the student in the early stages of exploring a new sonic landscape that will develop into a piece.

Second Cycle | Workshop: January - March
The mentor and mentee will continue their bi-monthly meetings that will shift the focus to more tangible results. In this cycle, the Luna Composition Lab participant will hear the sketches of her composition realized through a series of workshops with Face the Music ensembles. The workshops will help illuminate what areas of the new piece need work. The mentor will work with the young composer to move the piece toward a state of completion during this cycle.

Third Cycle | Refinement / Performance: April - June
At the beginning of this cycle, the Luna Composition Lab participant must have a first draft. The focus of this cycle will be toward refining the piece for the concert at the end of the term. The mentor will give directed feedback to coach the student toward the best possible end result. The Luna Composition Lab participant will be able to make two revisions before the final score is due. The third cycle will culminate in a concert where all Luna Composition Lab students will be able to hear their work realized at the highest level.

Click here or below to watch Face the Music perform three pieces by the 2017 Luna Lab Fellows at the Q2 Music studio with host John Schaefer on June 14. Luna Lab co-founders Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Reid stop by to talk about the genesis of the project.

Click here or below to view photos from the June 12 concert at Roulette.

Luna Composition Lab 2017

Face the Music

Tel: 917 441 3692, ext. 5

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