Scoring Express Theatre & Studio available


The Scoring Express collection of premium templates, manuscript papers, house styles, fonts, and plug-ins for Sibelius Ultimate that we announced just a couple of weeks ago has been very well-received so far. Thank you to all of the supporters and early adopters of the Chamber and Jazz suites!

In lieu of holiday travel this season, we forged on another journey instead, and we achieved our the destination. We’re very pleased to welcome the Theatre & Studio suite to the Scoring Express family.

Just like its Chamber and Jazz cousins, the Theatre and Studio suite of goodies comes all bundled in one easy installer package so you can get going quickly, and it takes advantage of the latest Sibelius features, including the ability to import music directly into a Sibelius template, which was improved upon in the Sibelius 2020.12 update.

The Theatre & Studio package is optimized for the demanding situations of theatrical, show, and studio use, when time is at a premium and everything needs to be presented as clearly as possible.

If you read Scoring Notes, you know that we’re a bit obsessive — in a healthy way, of course! — about engraving rules, note spacing, and all the other parameters that refine positioning, placement, and design in music notation software. That’s a direct result of decades of experience preparing music at NYC Music Services.

The Scoring Express templates are the result of that accumulated knowledge. We have made use of some of the more obscure Sibelius Ultimate features and settings and baked them right into the Scoring Express defaults so that you don’t have to spend time fiddling with them. Each file also includes loads of additional symbols, lines, and text styles that extend Sibelius’s default capabilities in many ways — with even more especially introduced for the Theatre & Studio suite (recognize that “patch change” symbol for synth parts?).

Just a few of the custom lines in the Theatre & Studio suite

The Scoring Express Theatre & Studio suite contains nine templates which not only come as stand-alone Sibelius files, but also manuscript papers and house styles, so you can integrate them via whichever method is best suited to your workflow. They are:

  • Pit orchestra
    • 4 reeds, horn in F, 2 trumpets, trombone, drums, percussion, guitar, bass guitar, vocals, 2 keyboards, strings (+ cues, rehearsal piano)
  • Expanded rock band + strings
    • vocals, key 1/conductor, key 2, guitar 1, guitar 2, bass, violin I, violin II, viola, cello (+ cues, rehearsal piano)
    • Also in landscape
  • Rock band
    • vocals, piano/conductor, guitar, bass, drums (+ cues, rehearsal piano)
    • Also in landscape
  • Piano vocal
    • Also in sans-serif
  • Lead sheet
    • Also in sans-serif
The Expanded rock band + strings (landscape) Scoring Express Theatre & Studio template

What’s more, each template (other than the stand-alone piano-vocal and lead sheet templates) comes with a full set of pre-configured parts, including parts for piano-conductor scores with cues as well as piano-vocal parts that are automatically linked to the full score.

The essential elements of the Scoring Express Theatre & Studio suite are the expert handiwork of Joseph Trefler, a composer, orchestrator, and music preparer who has worked on many NYC Music Services projects over the past several years. His careful eye and taste for balancing the aesthetics of good design with the practical considerations of show and studio work are evident in every detail of this package. We’ve even included in the Theatre & Studio suite three fully-formatted example files that Joseph has prepared, so you can see exactly how the templates are used. These examples themselves are master-classes in music preparation!

Special thanks to Joseph, and also to his collaborator, lyricist Jonathan Keebler, for sharing their talents and allowing their work to be included in the Scoring Express Theatre & Studio package. Thanks also to composer Tom Curran (yes, of Sibelius plug-in fame), for reviewing early drafts of these templates as they were taking shape.

The Scoring Express Theatre & Studio suite is available at Notation Central for $69.99. But if you hurry, you can grab it while it’s on sale through December 21, 2020, for a special introductory price of $55.99 — that’s 20% off. The Chamber and Jazz suites are also 20% off their regular price through the end of the year.

Do be aware that in order to take full advantage of all of the features in Scoring Express and the automatic installation, Sibelius 2020.3 or later is required. If you have an earlier version of Sibelius, we can provide you with compatible files after purchase upon request, although as is the case with any earlier file format, not all features may be available in your Sibelius version.

Thanks to Scoring Notes readers for allowing us to plug our Scoring Express product here. I’m really proud of it and if you use Sibelius regularly, I think you’ll really enjoy what this product has to offer. As my podcast co-host David MacDonald said on a recent episode, just poking around the templates can be very instructive in its own right — and it pairs very well with the recent Sibelius importing features.

And, speaking of the podcast, we’ve just issued a “revival” of one of my favorite episodes from this past year: My conversation with top Broadway copyist Emily Grishman, where you’ll hear her talk about many of the same tips and conventions you’ll find in the Scoring Express templates.

Podcast: Emily Grishman (revival)

On the Scoring Notes podcast, Emily Grishman, acclaimed Broadway copyist, talks about the world of music theatre copying, the process of getting the music from the composer’s pen to the player’s stands, and the tools she uses to achieve superior results. Listen now:

Scoring Notes
Emily Grishman (revival)


With that, from all of us at Scoring Notes, NYC Music Services, and Notation Central, I wish you a very happy new year! We’ll be back in 2021 with all the tips, news, and reviews you’ve come to expect. Until then, I hope you have a chance to enjoy Scoring Express!


  1. Inquiring mind

    Please take seriously the market for a Finale version of these files, as most copyists of show music in NY use that software! Things will be more hard-wired in and slightly less flexible than Sibelius (what else is new), but the same look can be reliably achieved. Would be happy to help with development — feel free to make touch via the email provided.

  2. Andy

    These look amazing. I was wondering if you’re planning to do a set of templates more geared towards film/tv?

    1. Philip Rothman

      We hope to expand the line at some point although have not determined specific plans or timetable for release at this time.

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