Each year our Adopt a Composer scheme sets amateur choirs, orchestras and ensembles up with composers for a year to produce a new piece together. Meet this year's pairings.
Adriano Adewale with Horsham Symphony Orchestra
London based Brazilian percussionist/composer, Adewale is a versatile musician and performer, known for his unconventional and exploratory approach to music, and for his ability to create magical soundscapes from the seemingly banal.
In 2008 Adriano launched his debut album entitled “Sementes”, to critical acclaim. Followed by “The Vortex Sessions” with pianist Benjamim Taubkin. “Raizes” is Adewale’s latest album release featuring his own quartet.
He has collaborated with Phoenix dance company as well as several leading musicians including Bobby McFerrin, Joanna Macgregor, Antonio Forcione and Britten Sinfonia.
The Horsham Symphony Orchestra (HSO) rehearse and perform a wide range of classical music in Horsham, West Sussex. Its members are mainly amateurs but the orchestra is directed and led by professional musicians. HSO often accompany professional soloists and give three sell-out concerts a year at The Capitol, Horsham, thus making a lively contribution to the musical life of Horsham. HSO also arranges orchestral workshops and regular professionally-led coaching sessions for its members and now also runs a second orchestra, H20, for local musicians of all abilities.
Christopher Schlechte-Bond with KEMS Concert Band
Christopher is a composer and conductor based in London. He composes for the concert hall, for film and for theatre and graduated as a Master of Composition at the Royal College of Music studying under Simon Holt. His compositional style is bold, textural and colourful, with numerous influences that include folk music, world music and electroacoustic music. Recent performances include the premiere of a trombone quartet at the Royal College of Music, a Flute and Harp Duo commissioned for the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta and a piece workshopped by internationally renowned historical chamber ensemble Fretwork.
King Edward Music Society (KEMS) of Macclesfield is in its 60th year. The Concert Band section of KEMS is a community band which has been in existence for 12 years and has about 40 members, ranging from teenagers to those in their 70s.
The band performs 6 or 7 times a year in formal concerts, stately homes, bandstands and shopping centres. We have also performed in a quarry. We have toured to Belgium and France and will be returning to Belgium in 2017.
Mark Boden with Croydon Bach Choir
Mark David Boden graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2008 and the Royal College of Music in 2011. He has since been awarded a Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal (2008), the Composer's of Wales Composition Prize (2009), and the inaugural British Composer Awards (BASCA) Student Competition (2010). In 2015, Mark was awarded the prestigious John Clementi Collard Fellowship from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. He has been commissioned by ensembles including London Philharmonic Orchestra, Hebrides Ensemble, Sinfonia Cymru and BBC National Orchestra of Wales and several works have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Mark teaches at RWCMD and is published by Cadenza Music https://cadenza-music.com
Formed in 1960 for a performance of the St John Passion, the Croydon Bach Choir is one of the leading choral societies in the South East, with members of all ages and from a wide variety of backgrounds. The choir has provided a vehicle for music-making for well over half a century now and continues to perform regularly and expand its repertoire. Tim Horton was appointed Music Director in 2001 and under his enthusiastic and dedicated leadership the choir has thrived, each season holding a number of concerts in Croydon, including works by Bach but also a diverse range of other choral repertoire.
Martin Humphries with London Medical Orchestra
Martin Humphries is a composer whose music has been performed at the National Museum of Wales, Barbican Centre, Abacus Gallery (Cardiff), Fête de la Mare (France), Celluele133 (Belgium), Idstein Jazz Festival (Germany), Club Inégales (London), CoMA Summer School and Cheltenham Music Festival. He has worked with ensembles including the Fidelio Trio, Lontano, Carducci Quartet, RIOT Ensemble, Fractales and soloists Håkon Stene (percussion), Lore Lixenberg (mezzo-soprano), Michael Finnissy (piano) and Gwenllian Llyr (harp). Martin’s first opera was performed during his undergraduate studies and his orchestral music has seen performances by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
London Medical Orchestra are a friendly group, rehearsing in a convenient venue in Islington, North London, and playing three concerts each year in local churches.The orchestra was formed in 1954 by refugee doctors and dentists from Central Europe, and combined with the Three Hospitals Orchestra ten years later. Although many of the present members of the Orchestra are not members of the medical or ancillary professions, the Orchestra continues to have as its main purpose the supporting of medical charities through fund-raising concerts.
Rosie Clements with Spectrum Singers
Rosie grew up in rural Somerset before moving to Birmingham in 2011 to study composition at Birmingham Conservatoire with Howard Skempton, Sean Clancy and Errollyn Wallen. Her rural beginnings have begun to feed into her work, which often comments on different aspects of her life. Rosie not only has an interest in Composition but also in education, events management and arts admin. She has been the Artistic Director of Frontiers Festival as well as producing events for Soweto Kinch, mac Birmingham and Gaudeamus Muziekweek.
Spectrum Singers is a Penarth-based vocal group, founded by our late musical director Stuart Edwards; the beautiful arrangements of familiar tunes he gave us to sing are a joy to all those who hear them.
Now under the exciting musical direction of David Hutchings, we're a mixed SATB choir of singers from around Cardiff numbering no more than 16 voices. We may be compact but we make a surprisingly big sound and specialise in singing a cappella (without accompaniment). The choir's name reflects the extensive range of music we perform, from show tunes and pop songs in concert to classical pieces and sacred music in cathedrals.
Shona Mackay with The Glasgow School of Art Choir
Shona Mackay is a Glasgow-based composer and mixed-media artist whose work is driven by themes of connection, communication and identity. She is interested in the use of music alongside visual and performative elements and has recently been exploring work involving installation and interactive formats.
Recent works include “How to Undress in Front of Your Husband” for video, pre-recorded audio and 14 musicians (Plug Festival, Glasgow, 2016) and “Cloud Hands” for solo cello, written for Jennifer Langridge as part of Psappha Ensemble’s “Composing for Cello” scheme (Manchester, 2016). Shona is currently undertaking a practice-based PhD at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the supervision of Dr Gordon McPherson.
The Glasgow School of Art Choir is a non-auditioned ensemble primarily comprising past and present staff and students of The Glasgow School of Art. The choir was founded with the principal aim of creating an amateur chorus which would perform to a standard far above that of an average amateur group, an objective we continue to pursue. The ensemble has quickly gained a reputation for outstanding musical discipline and is committed to expanding its repertoire and the musicianship of its members. The 65-strong ensemble's debut album will be released on 30th September 2016.
Scottish project: Aran Browning with Strathendrick Singers
Aran is an English composer, recently graduating with First Class Honours from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under Rory Boyle. He has worked with performers and artists including Mieko Kanno, Red Note, the ECME, BBC SSO, director Jack Lynch, Ensemble Modern and through Leeds Lieder, poet Ian Harker. His work ‘Gameshow Format’ with Drake Music Scotland lead to being awarded the Kimie Composition Prize through Live Music Now: premiered at the St Magnus Festival, ‘Cardboard Creations’ is regularly performed by Sirocco Winds. Aran is currently collaborating on projects including documentaries with Tong Lam and short film ‘Listen’ alongside Sean Boyle.
2017 is the 40th anniversary of Strathendrick Singers, and the 10th anniversary of our association with Music Director, Mark Evans, so the Adopt a Composer scheme is a perfect way for us to celebrate. We are a 50-strong amateur choir, drawing our singers from the communities of West Stirlingshire. Known mainly for our classical repertoire, Strathendrick Singers has performed major works by Mozart, Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Beethoven, and Fauré. Contemporary works tackled with critical success include the Scottish Premiere of Ola Gjeilo’s Sunrise Mass; Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna; and Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace. We have also commissioned and performed a work by the world-renowned composer Sally Beamish, who lives locally.