Post date: Tuesday, 14 November 2017 - 5:09pm

I am on the train from Glasgow to Manchester, on my way back from my first meeting with Merchant Sinfonia for the Adopt a Composer project. The hills are surfing in and out of view, crested by turbines. I am listening to Kaija Saariaho’s Verblendungen, and it syncs up uncannily with hundreds of slowly-rotating white blades.

Suddenly I am obsessed with wind turbines: Scotland is blazing ahead with renewable energy and there is both a beauty and a practicality to the machines, just like much of Scottish culture as I have experienced it.

Post date: Tuesday, 14 November 2017 - 12:59pm

I've rounded off the past year with an absolute treat of a concert with KEMS Concert Band. We've experimented with new instrumental effects that can be played on wind instruments, I've devised workshops and games that have introduced the band to new ways of counting time (tricky at first, but doable in the end!) and we've had a lot of fun along the way.

Post date: Monday, 13 November 2017 - 6:00pm

Tuesday 7 November saw the much-anticipated first meeting with our Adopt a Composer Gaynor Barradell. I, for one, had been looking forward to it since hearing about the partnership and it was clear the band was collectively excited, too - at 7:15pm sharp, there was a full-strength band ready to rehearse!

Petra and I met with Gaynor and it was clear she shared our enthusiasm, but also our nerves: the sight of 50 eager musicians is quite daunting!

Post date: Thursday, 19 October 2017 - 7:45pm

The 2018 Contemporary Music for All Festival is coming near you, so save the date (3 & 4 March), and find out how you can be involved!

Some of you took part in the first festival in 2016, playing in or attending workshops, rehearsals and performances in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Manchester and London. The 2018 festival is spreading to many more cities, includes opportunities for singers as well as players and is warmly inviting all leisure-time musicians to join come and play opportunities, workshops, rehearsals and performances.

Post date: Thursday, 19 October 2017 - 5:34pm

Much about place-making is intangible. You, the groups making and presenting music in your local communities, week in, week out, and your fellow citizens organising amateur dramatics, painting classes, adult ballet, Scout groups, and much more - you are the often hidden but indispensable ingredient in a successful place.

Your locality would not be an attractive place to live, work and visit if you didn’t populate it with interesting activities for everyone and thus with opportunities for people to come together and rub shoulders with others from their community.

Post date: Thursday, 19 October 2017 - 11:29am

The online consultation by Surrey County Council closed on 1 October, receiving an astonishing number of over 1500 online and 220 offline submissions.

Officers will be reporting the results of the consultation and laying out the options they are considering to councillors at the meeting of the Communities Select Committee of Surrey County Council on Tuesday 7 November at 10am in Kingston.

Post date: Wednesday, 18 October 2017 - 6:07pm

A fantastic start to the project so far. After a great day in London for the big announcement of the pairings, we have set to work getting to know our adopted composer Gaynor Barradell and encouraged the band to share their thoughts and ideas.

Response has been enthusiastic with lots of ideas and already we have begun to form a great relationship with Gaynor that feels like we have known her for years.

Post date: Wednesday, 18 October 2017 - 4:08pm

The Radio 3 Breakfast Carol Competition has returned for 2017, with amateur composers challenged to write a new carol for SATB choir set to the words of a 15th-century carol: Sir Christemas.

Entries will be judged by a panel including Judith Weir and David Hill, with a shortlist of six being performed live on air by the BBC Singers. The ultimate winner will be decided by listener vote and played on Radio 3 on Christmas Day.

Post date: Friday, 13 October 2017 - 11:10am

This Christmas, five member groups' recordings of carols will be featured on Classic FM. Find out how your group could be one.

Post date: Monday, 2 October 2017 - 6:10pm

It's been hard keeping our successful application to Adopt a Composer a secret since we got the great news on 16 August… And at last we are on our way to London for the Making Music press launch and to find out which composer we are ‘adopting'. Sarah Cunningham (MD) and I meet somewhat bleary-eyed at 5am at Edinburgh airport feeling a tad nervous…also excited.