Shortlist announced for Making Music Awards 2020

We are delighted to announce the shortlist for our new Making Music Awards, which will form part of an online celebratory evening of musical creativity on Tuesday 8 September.

The awards celebrate leisure-time music groups and their activity, and the often unrecognised talent which helps the sector to flourish across the UK.

In addition to the new awards, the winner of the latest President’s Award (for exceptional voluntary service to Making Music) and the Lady Hilary Groves Prize (awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to music in the community) will also be announced.

Following the success of our Virtual Concert Series, a special People’s Choice Award for the best submission will be awarded and broadcast at the ceremony, which Making Music members will get to vote on at the end of August.

All awards will be announced by Making Music President Debbie Wiseman OBE immediately following presentation performances by the winners of the 2020 Philip and Dorothy Green Award for Young Artists awards and the Making Music annual general meeting (AGM). Anyone is welcome to reserve a ticket to attend the awards or the AGM, or both, but only full Making Music members can vote at the AGM.

Shortlist for best music creator for leisure-time music group

•    Aleksandar Kostić, Hymns of the Night, for Eclectic Voices (London)
•    Tom James, Mad Meg, for Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra (Yorkshire)
•    John Gourlay, Concerto di Famiglia, for the Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society (Scotland)

Special mentions from the panel:

•    Errol Lewis, Señor Panman, for the Melodians Steel Orchestra (London)
•    Chris Long, Songs of the Soul, for Ex Urbe Chamber Choir (West Midlands)

The panel, headed by Making Music President Debbie Wiseman OBE, also included Tom Farncombe from Hal Leonard Europe, Steve Dummer from the Horsham Symphony Orchestra and Dorothy Wilson MBE FRSA, Chair of Making Music.

Given the wide variety of talent and different kinds of music in the submissions, the panel commented that they found it difficult to create a shortlist. “The overall standard was so good,” Debbie Wiseman confirmed, “and it was great to see that groups all over the UK are commissioning new music and enjoying engaging with living composers. We would like to celebrate them all!”

Shortlist for best arranger for leisure-time music group

•    George Morton, arranging Clara Schumann’s Quatre Pièces Caractéristiques for Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra (originally piano score)
•    Heather Lane, arranging songs from the musical Calamity Jane for ladies’ barbershop chorus Gem Connections
•    Jesse D Vernon, arranging Jynweythew Ylow by Aphex Twin for the Fantasy Orchestra

The same panel again found the decision-making difficult, especially given the different genres represented in the submissions and shortlist. Making Music CEO Barbara Eifler said: “Great arrangers are crucial to our member groups, making a wide range of repertoire available to them, and the skills of arrangers are beautifully exemplified in this varied shortlist.”

Shortlist for best project with a focus on new music

•    Reading Phoenix Choir – Walter Hussey Composition Competition. Theme: ‘Gold’, receiving nearly 200 entries from all over the world
•    Music Action International – Conflict and Compassion, in partnership with refugee torture survivor collective, Stone Flowers, and Manchester Camerata Orchestra
•    Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society – Schools Composition Project, in partnership with Dunfermline High School and The Waid Academy

The judging panel comprised Carl Stevens, Arts Council England Senior Manager, Audience Insight & Innovation / Music; Peter Lawson, promoter and former Making Music Chair; conductor and producer Clare Edwards; and Dorothy Wilson MBE FRSA, Making Music Chair.

“It was a pleasure and privilege to review so many innovative and interesting projects from all over the UK,” said Making Music Chair Dorothy Wilson, “In the end, alongside quality, we considered innovation, diversity and community involvement when reaching our difficult decision.”

Shortlist for best photo of a leisure-time music group

•    Melodians Steel Orchestra UK
•    Thames Valley Chorus (Reading Barbershop Harmony Club) 
•    Streetwise Opera 

Special mention from the panel:

•    The Fantasy Orchestra

The judging panel comprised head of creative agency Cog, Michael Smith, professional photographer Sam Reed, Making Music trustee Andrew Rixon and Making Music Communications & Marketing Manager Natalie Joanes. 

“I loved being part of the judging panel for these awards,” said Michael Smith, Director at Cog Design. “The passion of the groups and the poignancy of their backstories shone through in the entries. Congratulations to everyone to everyone who entered and, of course, especially to the well-deserved winner.”

Free tickets to the Making Music Awards and AGM are now available to reserve online.

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