Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (SICPP)

June 16–25, 2021 




Stephen Drury, Artistic Director

SICPP (known affectionately as "Sick Puppy"), founded by Artistic Director Stephen Drury, is a full-blown annual chamber music festival focused on works of the 20th and 21st centuries, with an electronic music workshop, and featuring the SICPP New Works Program—a composition workshop where advanced composers have the opportunity to study with the Composer-in-Residence (this year, Julian Anderson), engage in colloquia with fellow composers, and work directly with musicians in the rehearsal and performance of their work. 


Welcome to SICPP: 8 days and nights of explosive new music! 

The SICPP experience is intense and demanding – each day is filled with masterclasses, colloquia, concerts, and rehearsals. Nearly every day is topped off by an incredible evening concert given by SICPP faculty, guest artists, and the ensemble-in-residence, the Callithumpian Consort, featuring works by our 2021 composers-in-residence, Prof. Chaya Czernowin and Dr. Ann Cleare

SICPP was started in the late 1990s by Artistic Director Stephen Drury as an intensive performance seminar on music of the 20th century. For many years, enrollment was open only to advanced pianists, but since 2005 the program has also been open to percussionists, and further expanded in 2009 to include vocalists and all other instrumentalists. SICPP is now a full-blown annual chamber music festival focused on works of the 20th and 21st centuries, which also features an Electronic Workshop and New Works composer fellow program. 

Performance Program

All instrumentalists and vocalists aged 18 and over are invited to apply to the SICPP Performance Program. Selected Performance Fellows will prepare and perform contemporary chamber music with the guidance of Artistic Director Stephen Drury, SICPP faculty, Callithumpian Consort performers and guests.  

Throughout the course SICPP faculty give private lessons, host masterclasses, coach Fellows in ensemble preparation and provide mentoring. All Performance Fellows will receive a private lesson on their instrument— a one-on-one coaching with SICPP faculty on a solo piece, extended techniques, or other topics of your choosing. Our faculty will also offer lectures on new music performance practice, programming, electronics, and social issues faced by artists and our community. 

All Fellows will be assigned repertoire for performance at SICPP. Fellows who perform works by the Composer-in-Residence will have the opportunity to work with the Composer in a masterclass coaching session. Other selected Performance Fellows will perform works by Composition Fellows — these performers participate in composition masterclasses and will work one-on-one with the composer to record the piece for our online “Iditarod” concert: the culmination of all our Fellows’ work throughout the week! Fellows will also have the option to collaborate with our Electronic Workshop. Performance Fellows receive their repertoire assignments in May (emailed as PDFs).  

The emphasis for SICPP 2021 will be on solo works, duos, and ensemble pieces suitable for online assembly. Staff will be available to assist individuals in the realization of the technology components of their pieces. 

Performance Workshops 

Upon acceptance, Fellows are invited to submit solo, unaccompanied repertoire selections for consideration for two categories of performance: 

  • Masterclasses with the SICPP Faculty and Guest Artists 
  • The online SICPP Iditarod marathon concert 

New Works Program

Composers aged 18 and over are invited to apply to our New Works Program. To apply, composers will submit scores for ensembles of any configuration, or soloists at any range of difficulty. Upon acceptance, composers will be asked to create a new work for a solo instrument. Each Composition Fellow will be connected with a performer from the Callithumpian Consort or a SICPP faculty member to investigate practical questions of notation and performance technique during the compositional process leading up to SICPP. The resulting work will be rehearsed and performed by Performance Fellows and Callithumpian Consort musicians over the course of the week, with the composer and performer in close collaboration. The work will be performed for the Composer-in-Residence in a masterclass and will also be performed and recorded as part of the marathon “Iditarod” concert to be presented online at the conclusion of SICPP. Composers accepted to the program will have one private lesson each with Composition faculty Nicholas Vines and with both Composers-in-Residence, and participate in online colloquia led by Vines, during which composers will present their works and discuss their process with fellow composers. 


Each year we are honored to have a Composer-in-Residence whose music is featured in performances throughout the festival. In 2021 we are delighted to have two Composers-in-Residence, Professor Chaya Czernowin and Dr. Ann Cleare. They will be available to coach Performance Fellows in their own works, and mentor New Works Fellows in private lessons, small groups, and masterclasses. 

Electronics Workshop

Electronic Workshop fellows come from a variety of backgrounds, including composers, sound artists, and performers. Any musician over the age of 18 with an interest in electronics in music is welcome to apply by proposing a project to be realized at the festival. The Electronic workshop is led by John Mallia (Director of the Robert Ceely Electronic Music Studio at NEC) and Scott Deal (Director of the Tavel Center at IUPUI) and deals with a wide range of electronic music styles and possibilities. 

Fellows in the Electronic Workshop will work on their individual and collaborative projects over the course of the week with critique and guidance from Electronic Workshop faculty. Daily sessions will include masterclasses, lessons, interactive lectures, guest presentations, open sharing and discussion sessions, and coachings. The week will culminate with an event dedicated to the presentation of work by Electronic Workshop members. Project proposals may include fixed media compositions, live electronics with or without an instrument or voice, and multimedia works. Collaboration is encouraged. Given the remote nature of SICPP 2021, proposals for interactive online environments/installations, telematic performances, and other modes of expression well-suited to web-based presentation are also welcome. 

Auditor Program

The Auditor Program offers festival-wide observational access to all masterclasses, lectures, Q&A's, colloquia, pre-concert talks, concerts, workshops, and open rehearsals.  Auditors will have participatory access to social hours, networking events, and concert social chats.  This is an excellent opportunity to explore new music creation, production, and performance, and allows the auditor to immerse themselves into the deep and rich creative community that is SICPP.

Admission and Application 

For all questions, or to signal your interest in one of the available programs, please visit the SICPP website, or email your request using the button below. 

Email SICPP for Admission Information 

Tuition & Registration 

Successful applicants will be invited to register upon the approval of their 2021 SICPP application.  

  • Performance Program - Piano: $800 
  • Performance Program - Vocal and Instrumental: $700 
  • New Works Program: $900 
  • Electronic Workshop: $700 
  • Auditor Program: $350 
  • Application Fee: $50 

Registration has closed for 2021 SICPP.  For more information please visit the SICPP website.

2021 Refund Policy

Tuition is due in full from accepted Fellows on or before April 1, 2021. After this date, any requests for refunds will be honored on the following schedule.  Application fees are non-refundable. 

April 2 – April 15: 75% tuition refund
April 16 – April 30: 50% tuition refund
May 1 – May 15: 25% tuition refund
After May 16: no refund