Making Music Awards 2023 shortlist announced

We are thrilled to announce the shortlisted nominees for the 2023 Making Music Awards, followed by a celebratory evening on Thursday 5 October where we announce the winners and honour the creativity and efforts of the leisure-time music community.

The awards celebrate Making Music's nearly 4,000 member groups and their activity, and the often unrecognised talent which helps the sector to flourish across the UK. Prizes range from promotion across Making Music’s networks to opportunities for other musical projects.

The shortlists and winners are decided by panels of experts drawn from across the music sector. The winner for the President’s Award will be chosen by public vote. You can choose from a shortlist of four nominees selected by Making Music staff.

All awards will be announced by Making Music President Debbie Wiseman OBE at the Making Music Awards ceremony on Thursday 5 October. Anyone is welcome to reserve a ticket to attend the awards.

2023 Making Music Awards full shortlist:

Best music creator for leisure-time music group

  • Ashley ThompsonThe Queen’s Shoulders, for The Phoenix Singers Leek
  • Kirby SpencerDuskman, for the Leicester Symphony Orchestra
  • Richard BlackfordBabel, for the Camden Choir

Best arranger for leisure-time music group

  • Christopher KillerbyFour Nations Clarion, for The Games Maker Choir
  • Fran CarterTreat People With Kindness, for Vocal Dimension Chorus
  • Harry Castle The Sundayshire Wassail, for The Sunday Boys

Panel for Best music creator and Best arranger included Debbie Wiseman OBE (President of Making Music), Dorothy Wilson MBE FRSA (Vice Chair of Making Music), Russell Keable (Music Director of Kensington Symphony Orchestra), and Sally Groves MBE (former Creative Director of Schott Music).

Best project with a focus on new music

  • The GSA Choir 
  • Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus 

Panel for Best project with a focus on new music included Dorothy Wilson MBE FRSA (Vice Chair of Making Music), Jo Towler FRSA (Chief Executive of Music in the Round), Carl Stevens (Senior Manager, Audience Insight and Innovation / Music at Arts Council England), and Michael Betteridge (Composer, Musical and Artistic Director of The Sunday Boys (previous winners)). 

Lady Hilary Groves Prize 

  • Christopher Green of Trianon Music Group
  • Gwyn L Williams of Cantorion Menai
  • Peter Morris of Wolverhampton Symphony Orchestra

Panel for Lady Hilary Groves Prize included Phil Castang MBE (Music for Youth Chief Executive and Chair of the Music Education Council), Helen Harrison (Conductor of Blackpool Symphony Orchestra, amongst several), Dorothy Wilson MBE FRSA (Vice Chair of Making Music), and Valerie Taylor (Making Music trustee).

Making Music Green Award

  • Derwent Brass
  • KJV Community Children’s Choir
  • Maldon Orchestra 
  • Sheffield Brass Network

Panel for the Making Music Green Award included Rhiannon Harrison (Chair of Making Music), Alice Nicolay (Senior Officer, Arts Council England), Barbara Eifler (Chief Executive of Making Music), and Harriet Laidler (Project Administrator at Making Music).

The President’s Award (public vote)

  • Brian Woodley of Blackheath Choir
  • Daniel Friesner of Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival 
  • Nikki Lord of Bolton Symphony Orchestra
  • Sebastian Valentine of Blue Light Symphony

Making Music presents numerous awards and prizes to individuals, music groups and organisations in both the leisure-time and professional music sectors. Find out more