As a publisher and a composer, one of my most important roles is maintaining and nurturing relationships with my performers and my customers: in essence, my patrons. The process of developing a commission can be long and varied. But after you’ve nailed down the commission, including the fees, due date, and parameters, and also successfully written the piece, you a presented with an opportunity to reach out to that patron for several purposes:
Here's one good way to construct this kind of letter:
First, your letter formalities: a clean letterhead, the date, address...all of your basics.
Then, a paragraph that summarizes the commission and your thoughts that go along with it. This is where I offer the chance for feedback. I have a 100% satisfaction guarantee with each of my commissions. I always promise to make it right if I wrote something beyond what they requested (and sometimes it results in an entirely new piece altogether).
Next, I provide some context for this piece with what else I’m working on. This helps construct a narrative of how important their commission was, or how its in good company with other highlighted premiers.
Last, I thank them again and give them a truthful mantra: “Your investment in new music enriches the experience of your performers and tests the courage of the audience”
Sign, seal, and deliver. Never miss an opportunity to strengthen a relationship with a valuable customer. A letter costs as much as the postage, but earns far more than that. Your customer is your patron, your patronus--literally, our defender-- and they deserve our thanks for supporting new music.
Here’s an example letter. I’ve marked off the pronouns, but feel free to use this as a template for your letters. Thanks for stopping by the blog, and a have a great day!