Brand new pairings for Adopt a Composer project 2019/20 revealed

Adopt a Composer, the year-long project run by Making Music in partnership with Sound and Music, pairs leisure-time vocal and instrumental music groups with some of the UK’s most promising composers to work together to create a brand new piece of music. 

Now in its 19th year, this unique project offers amateur musicians the chance to work directly with a professional composer, and to be actively involved in the creative process. Composers in turn have the chance to form a close working relationship with their group, allowing them to develop a piece in response to a group’s personality and interests, with the project culminating in a premiere performance and recording.

Since it began in 2000, Adopt a Composer has produced over 100 new commissions, creating hugely diverse works and exciting peformances, from a piece based on the experience of a bike ride across Edinburgh to a choral work based on composer Clara Schuman. Composers receive guidence from an established team of mentors (Colin Riley, David Horne, Emily Crossland, Fraser Trainer and Jenni Pinnock) with many going on to national and international success.

Selected pairings for 2019/20 showcase the breadth and vibrancy of the UK’s leisure-time music scene, ranging from choirs and brass bands to folk orchestras and youth improvising groups. 

“Sound and Music is thrilled to be partnering with Making Music again on Adopt a Composer. It’s a unique and challenging programme, which can forge deep and lasting relationships between the composers and groups, making it an unrivalled development opportunity for composers. We’re excited to see what comes of this year’s pairings as they start the creative process together.”  - Hannah Bujic, Co-Head of Artist Development, Sound and Music 

“Adopt a Composer’s popularity shows the leisure-time music sector’s appetite for new music and for their own artistic development. It is the leisure-time music sector which pioneers many living composers in every corner of the UK and this programme supports that leisure-time ambition excellently.” - Barbara Eifler, Chief Executive of Making Music

Adopt a Composer is run by Making Music in partnership with Sound and Music, and is funded by the PRS Foundation and Philip and Dorothy Green Trust. Funding for the Rural Scotland Project is provided by Creative Scotland.

The selected pairings for 2019/20 are as follows:

Alex Paxton with Haslingfield Choir (Cambridgeshire)

Carmel Smickersgill with Junior LCoM Ensemble Creative (Yorkshire)

Claire Victoria Roberts with Camden Symphony Orchestra (London)

Jonathan Brigg with Sussex Folk Orchestra (Sussex)

Rob Jones with The Edge Chamber Choir (West Midlands)

Laura Shipsey with City of Bristol Brass Band (Bristol)

Rural Scotland project – Aileen  Sweeney with Helensburgh Oratorio Choir (Scotland)

Find out more about this year's Adopt a Composer pairings on our project pages.

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