Tango for Musicians at Reed College

Arrangers & Composers 2024

If you would like to arrange or compose tango music and be able to premiere your music played by the TFM resident ensemble or your own tango ensemble, do not miss this opportunity!

The Program

Arrangers and composers interested in joining the Tango for Musicians at Reed College 2024 program should bear in mind the following main aspects of this edition:

  • Arrangers & composers should apply to be accepted. Apply here beginning December 11, 2023.
  • Participants must bring a new arrangement or piece to premiere at the edition.
  • Participants can choose the type of ensemble to write for.

An online, 3-month Musical Writing Tutoring Course will be offered (for an extra cost) for the writing process, keeping in mind that during the TFM week it is not possible to have enough time for developing new tools.


Every arranger or composer should premiere an arrangement or composition at the TFM week. Participants should choose between one of the possible ensembles. Activities will include shared sessions with colleagues, teachers, and the TFM resident ensemble during the Morning Masterclass time. Music will be premiered at the weekend concerts.

Details of the activities:

  • Morning Sessions: at the Morning Masterclass time, the chosen ensemble will perform the music in order to provide a chance for the arranger/composer to explore further elements. Teachers Exequiel Mantega and Pablo Jaurena will coordinate the activities in order to help the writers learn more from the experience.
  • The new music will be premiered at one of the weekend concerts. 
  • An onlineMusical Writing Tutoring Coursewill be offered for an extra fee but should be done mandatorily, in case the team of teachers consider that an opportunity of accompaniment during the writing process should be necessary in order to get all parts ready for the TFM week. Based on experience from previous years, we noticed that during the week it is almost impossible to write and try new tools. Therefore, this three-month pre-course will be the perfect setting for a learning experience, culminating with the premiere of the new music at TFM. This course has an extra cost of $450.

Spots & Application

  • The program will be open to 10 arrangers / composers, on a first-come-first-served basis, once the application is accepted. Apply here beginning December 11, 2023.
  • After acceptance, the writer will have 48 hours to proceed with payment of the Tango For Musicians registration. The participation in the Arrangers & Composers program doesn't have any extra cost beyond the standard musicians registration. 
  • If the teaching team feels that the arranger or composer would benefit from support in their writing, they will communicate in response to the application that the online Musical Writing Tutoring Course should be carried out. 
  • In the event that the student cannot join or complete the online pre-course, it will not be possible to take an active role in the Arrangers & Composers program and the premiering of the new music.

Application for being accepted into the program will follow these dates:

Process Starts Ends


December 11, 2023 March 3, 2024
Registration December 11, 2023 March 3, 2024
Online pre-course March 13, 2024 May 22, 2024
Final scores delivered May 27, 2024 May 27, 2024

About the Ensemble

The arranger or composer could choose to write for any of these three ensemble types:

  • TFM Resident Ensemble
  • Own Pre-formed Ensemble
  • Other Ensemble

TFM Resident Ensemble
This will be a typical tango sextet: two bandos, two violins, piano, and double bass.
This ensemble will be organized by Tango Sin Fin, formed by advanced students.

Own Pre-formed Ensemble
If the writer wants to write for their own ensemble, this is also a choice. All the members of the ensemble should be joining the TFM program and should be available for the three Morning Masterclass Sessions in order to play the new music. That same ensemble will play the music at the weekend concert. This music can be the same proposed for the "Pre-formed open rehearsal".

Other Ensemble
For those arrangers who come to work on some specific settings (like guitar quartet, string quartet, or other), the writer should be responsible for pre-talk with fellow participants of Tango for Musicians who should come to perform his/her music during the three Morning Masterclass Sessions when the music will be worked on. This same ensemble should be available for playing the music in the weekend concert.

About the Music

  • It should be an original arrangement or original composition. It must not have been premiered or recorded by anyone before.
  • It will be not possible to attend with an arrangement that has already been played live or recorded before. The goal is to take this opportunity to explore new writing and generate one space for musical exploration for the participants.
  • It should be written with all the elements including metrics, articulations, dynamics, etc.
  • It should be written for an ensemble of at least four instruments.
  • The duration of the music should be between two and four minutes.
  • The evaluation team will review the application based on music that the arranger or composer has already created to assess the level of writing. Or, in case the new music is already written or near to being finished, it can be used for application.
  • If the evaluation team considers that the level is approximate but that more tools and personalized revisions are needed to support the process, the arranger/composer should register for the online “Musical Writing Tutoring Course” to accompany the writing process. If they are not interested in taking the course, they will not be able to participate in the Arrangers & Composers program actively.
  • For those who might have doubts about their level for registering, we highly recommend applying as soon as the application is open, in order to be able to join the online pre-course, if necessary.
  • The final scores of the new music should be ready and delivered by email before May 27, 2024.
  • Tango Sin Fin is not responsible for the organization or coordination of ensembles other than the resident ensemble.
  • The pre-formed ensemble members or other ensemble type must work together with the resident ensemble during the Morning Masterclass (11:30 AM to 12:30 PM). If they are unable to rehearse with the assigned instructor during the designated time, they will not be able to perform in the showcase concert.

How to Submit Your Application

Arrangers should fill out the application form between December 11, 2023 to March 3, 2024.

In the application form we will request the following:

1. Specify for what type of ensemble the arrangement/composition will be made:

  • TFM Resident Ensemble
  • Own Pre-formed Ensemble (detail instrumentation)
  • Other Ensemble (detail instrumentation)

2. Indicate whether it is an arrangement or an original composition.

3. Provide a comment on your motivation for writing this new music.

4. Include a score of a previous arrangement or composition, or the new music already written, in one of the following formats:

  • Sibelius 8 file
  • PDF + audio
  • PDF + MIDI
  • PDF + own ensemble recording