Personal notes from perfect pitch:
Formally I liked this years composers.I found it interesting that at the last reading sessions the composers each brought a "new sound" with them. That is, a gesture of some type that could perhaps be thought of as a signature. This involved the use of extended techniques yet these sounds were not of the overall type but rather a single exposed effect. For me Orchestration has been about the presentation of musical ideas through instruments. Effects have their place but proposing a new sound does not necessarily prove mastery.
Several rookie errors were on tap:
Too much pure (section) tone.
To much massed brass and percussion.
Pitched percussion didn't seem to have an identity -these parts might have worked better in the woodwinds or plucked strings.
Not enough woodwinds.
Not enough mixed timbres.
In tutti's you could see the strings sawing away but you could not hear them.
Really really long held notes in the string bass - this was more of a problem last year.
I wanted to re-orchestrate the whole bunch and see what they thought!