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.
A quick photo shoot in Trafalgar Square on arrival and we're here at the Theatre Trust, Charing Cross Road. We walked into the room and wow – WHAT A BUZZ… talk about energy; anticipation is in the air - a little bit of a Blind Date electricity... We start chatting to a composer about the band and composing for band and we are on the same wave length - have we 'clicked'?! " Where are you from Gaynor?" noting the Midlands accent, "Glasgow..." We wonder if we might have a 'match'.
So, the announcements... whoo hoo - Gaynor and Edinburgh Concert Band are paired - we are just thrilled - all three of us. And small world... Edinburgh pianist now Senior Lecturer at Manchester College - David Horne is our Mentor. Our #AdoptAComposer journey begins.
We have some useful sessions with Making Music, PRS and Sound and Music - lots of guidance and advice out there, photos are taken then we have our first getting to know each other discussion. Ideas, questions keep coming...we are already on a roll... even dates for Gaynor's first visit to play in the band is in the diary.
We are thinking... maybe a band weekend away at the midpoint for first read through and workshops, improvisations, and, and, and....'michtae me...our minds are whirlin' and birlin' Scottish style. We feel honoured to be selected and say a wee extra thanks to Creative Scotland for funding this extra Scottish pairing.
Meeting and chatting to the other groups and composers over a superior lunch and then feedback on our discussions - it is all so inspiring. Hand bell ringers, mandolin groups then last year's orchestra pairing with a Brazilian percussionist/composer really got the room buzzed up even more... The day whizzes on to a close. We gather our coats thanking Making Music for giving us this wonderful opportunity and we three head off for a cup of tea and more blethering...
We must tear ourselves away from Gaynor and London to return home. We fall into an exhausted but exhilarated heap over a glass of wine at the Departure gate though with energy to spare for sharing the news and going public on the Band Facebook site... a lot of likes and shares.... Roll on Tuesday's rehearsal so we can tell the band all about it...
Judy McCulloch (Making Music Rep/Band Development and 2nd Bb Clarinet)