Excellence and Accessibility: Vocal Music with Graphite Publishing

graphite publishing

Graphite Publishing is an online vocal music publisher of digital scores. Graphite publishes quality compositions where excellence and accessibility meet: unique yet emotional; challenging yet appealing; innovative and enjoyable to experience. Graphite was founded by composers Jocelyn Hagen and Timothy C. Takach.

We had an opportunity to talk with Jocelyn and Timothy to discuss some of the things that make Graphite standout.

1. Tell us about Graphite Publishing and what sets you apart from other publishers.

I think what really separates Graphite from other publishers is the fact that we are completely online and only license PDF scores from our website. We’ll print scores for advertising purposes at conventions and reading sessions, etc. But we’ve been completely online since 2006. We are also run and owned by composers, so we have a unique ear and eye when it comes to choosing which composers to represent.

2. How can composers become a part of Graphite Publishing?

We look at new composers 1-2 times per year, and try to keep a small roster. Click here to learn more about submitting works to Graphite Publishing.

3. What do you look for in the works that you publish?

We are always on the lookout for quality vocal music that is unique yet emotional, challenging yet appealing, innovative and enjoyable. One of our favorite phrases that we like to use is “where excellence and accessibility meet.” Many times new music can push boundaries just for the sake of doing something new, and the emotional effect does not resonate with the singer or audience. If we publish difficult pieces we look for music that has a strong voice and has a payoff that is equal to the amount of work put in.

4. What is “Bent But Not Broken” and what are ways to get involved?

“Bent But Not Broken” is a four-day conference that amplifies the musical contributions of Black choral musicians and scholars across time and across genres. We are so proud to be involved in this event by issuing and providing support for a Call for Scores for self-identifying Black composers.

bent but not broken

5. As a solely digital publisher, what are some of the unique benefits your customers and composers gain?

Because we don’t have to print our scores, we don’t really have as much overhead as the traditional publishing houses. This means we can sell our scores at cheaper prices, passing the savings onto the customer. People can find, buy, and print their music in a matter of minutes, which is great because there is no waiting for shipping or backorders. Rehearsal on the music can start that same day!

6. Tell us more about #ComposeLikeAGirl and the inspiration behind the messaging.

The original inspiration for this came from this Always advertisement from 2014:

We wanted to find a way to showcase all of our amazing women composers and highlight their works. It was meant to be fun and playful, which is why it was such a surprise when we received some negative feedback on it. But that only strengthened our resolve to dive further into the issue and provide greater resources and opportunities for women composers.

7. How has a partnership with SmartMusic helped with Graphite’s mission of publishing “quality compositions where excellence and accessibility meet?”

SmartMusic greatly helps us with our mission of accessibility, providing teaching and practice tools for educational purposes. We are so proud to partner with SmartMusic and expose our music to bigger audiences through this subscription.

8. What types of titles are available from Graphite Publishing in SmartMusic, and what do you hope to see added in the future?

Our initial offering consisted of a variety of styles and difficulty levels – music that we thought could benefit from individualized rehearsal practice. We’ll continue adding these kinds of titles as well as pieces that feature choir with large instrumental ensembles.

9. Where can folks learn more about Graphite Publishing and “Bent But Not Broken?”

Click here to learn more about the event, or register to attend.

See music from Graphite Publishing in SmartMusic

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