Adopt a Composer scheme

The scheme pairs amateur choirs, orchestras or ensembles with up-and-coming composers for 12 months to collaborate and produce a new piece of music, culminating in a premiere performance and a broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

The project is run by Making Music in partnership with Sound and Music, in association with BBC Radio 3, and funded by the PRS Foundation, Philip and Dorothy Green Trust and Creative Scotland.

Composers are mentored by Colin Riley, David Horne and Fraser Trainer with costs and expenses covered by the PRS Foundation, and retain all rights to the score.

I am currently talking to other choirs about getting another performance. This would mean the world to me, as it is not an understatement to say Adopt a Composer was about the most exciting experience of my life.

Rebecca Dale - paired with Music For Everyone, 2012/13

The process

  • Wednesday16 August: applicant interviews (London)
  • Saturday 30 September: pairings announced at launch event (London)- meet your group!
  • November: the group hosts a workshop introducing you to their members
  • January: you and your group workshop/rehearse the pieces in progress
  • February - April: further workshops and rehearsing of the draft piece
  • May - September: premiere concert (usually recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3)

Who else is involved?

Each pairing will be appointed with a mentor who will be there in the initial meetings when the composer and performing group are getting to know each other. They act as a source of ongoing advice to both composer and group as the work is composed, in musical and practical terms.

The mentor will be somebody who is experienced in this field. They will attend sessions with the composer and be available for e-mail and telephone contact.

Financial info

Fees for the composer and mentoring composer and all expenses related to the placement of the composer will be paid by the project. Travelling expenses for scheduled visits to London will be paid for via Making Music/Sound and Music – details are provided on the launch day. 

The composer retains all rights to the score. 

How to apply

Applications for the 2017/18 scheme are now closed

Shortlisted applicants will be asked to send us an example of a score and if shortlisted further will be invited to attend an interview on 16 August 2017. Successful applicants will be asked to attend a launch day in London on 30 September 2017.

Applicants will also be asked to attend two composer days run by Sound and Music: one on 10 October 2017 and the other in March 2018. Please ensure that you will be available for all of these days. We will inform you of the dates as soon as they have been confirmed.

Adopt a Composer: composer application form

Your details
About your music*
Your compositions
Please list your 7 most relevant compositions in chronological order of when written and provide youtube/internet link to the pieces.
Title*Instruments/voices*Date written*YouTube/Soundcloud linkPublished?*
Ensembles you have written for/worked with
Please list the groups that you have written for or worked with in the last 2 years.
Name of group*Type of group*Date from*Date to*Your position/role*
Please complete if you have been awarded any of the above in the last 2 years.
TitleDate awardedAny other information
Institution*Start date*End date*Course title*Qualification*
Please complete if you have been employed in a musical vocation other than as a composer (e.g.: Musical Director, music teacher etc…)
Further information
Supporting statements*

Explain how you fit the criteria as a composer for Adopt a Composer 2017-18. Please refer to the criteria above and on the Adopt a Composer information webpage, as a guide. No more than 200 words.

Why do you want to take part in the scheme? No more than 300 words.