John Steinmetz Commission: An Update

We are grateful for the number of quintets and individuals that have joined us for John Steinmetz's newest work for woodwind quintet: 

What's Going On (2018) . . . . . . . . John Steinmetz

We are incredibly thankful to the quintets and individuals listed below that have already joined our commission. We are looking for 10 more quintets to join us, please read below about the project and how you can become involved.

Arizona School for the Arts Quintet

Arizona State University Faculty Quintet

Avenue Winds

Borealis Quintet

Chinook Winds

Dorian Winds

Pamela Epple

Etesian Winds

Katayoon Hodjati

Lyrique Quintette

Richard Neufeld

Jeff & Jaclyn Quamo

Pavia Wind Quintet

Powers Quintet

Spring Wind Quintet

Sunderman Quintet

University of Arizona Faculty Quintet

Wavelength Winds

Quintet Black Swamp Winds


Zephhros Winds

Jennifer Zazzarino

December 7, 2017

We are commissioning a new quintet John Steinmetz to be composed by March 2018. We’re thrilled to spearhead this project because John’s first quintet has become a beloved work in the woodwind quintet canon!

The quintet will be for the standard woodwind quintet instrumentation with the possibility of auxiliary instruments: piccolo and English horn. Clarinet may double on Bb and A clarinets.

The work will be 10 minutes in length and premiered in Phoenix, Arizona in April 2018 and then performed at the International Horn Symposium in Muncie, Indiana in July 2018. After the premiere, John will make any revisions before sending the music out to all co-commissioners.

John wrote about this project: At this point I don't know what the music will be like, but it will probably reflect my interest in speaking musically to abiding human concerns. On my mind at the moment is the inspiring voyage of Hōkūleʻa, the Polynesian voyaging canoe that recently completed a three-year trip around the world using ancient navigation methods. In many places indigenous people are reviving knowledge and traditions that nurtured our species for tens of thousands of years. Perhaps the new quintet might somehow honor the Original Instructions, so similar across cultures, the guidelines for living in a good way, for interacting honorably and sustainably with other humans and other species. 

"I often am surprised how pieces develop (I remember comic music invading a piece that was otherwise quite serious), and I'm not at all sure where this one will go, but these days I am more and more determined to explore how music can help with the big problems we humans face. No matter what, I promise to do my best to find satisfying sounds that can create a meaningful journey for players and listeners.


 The fee to join this project is $250 per quintet/ensemble/commissioner. All co-commissioners will be listed in the music and receive a special “Commissioners’ Edition” of the parts/score from Trevco and will have exclusive rights to perform the piece for one year (starting in June 2018) before the piece becomes available to anyone else.  The Mill Ave Chamber Players will make a copy of their premiere performance available to all commissioners as a reference guide. John will be joining us before the premiere and attend the premiere performance.

We’d be very grateful to have you participate! If you have any questions or comments, please email Rose French at You can participate by sending a check to the Mill Ave Chamber Players at 526 W. Cypress Street, Phoenix, AZ 85003 OR buy credit card on our website ( Just click on “Tickets” and you’ll see a link to join buy credit card.

Even if you can’t participate in the commission, you can help us greatly by spreading the word via email and social media. John and the quintet plan on documenting the commission process throughout the next seven months to keep everyone a part of the conversation!

To learn more about John Steinmetz, please check out his website: and hear John interviewed by Phoenix’s KBAQ Classical Radio station with Rose French ( ). “What the Birds Said” the Music of John Steinmetz by was recorded by the Mill Ave Chamber Players and the Pacific Arts Woodwind Quintet in 2016.

We look forward to having you join us!

The Mill Ave Chamber Players,

Monica, Nik, Katie, Tom and Rose

Rose French