Music awards

The leisure-time music sector is dependent on much talent which is often unrecognised, so Making Music's awards aim to change that by celebrating music creators, arrangers and innovative new music projects.

Members of Making Music can nominate music creators and arrangers that they have worked with, or submit details of an innovative project involving 21st century music which their group has created during the course of 2020. Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, groups rose to the challenge and found fantastically creative ways to make music together even while apart. As part of the evidence you provide, we welcome recordings of virtual performances and recordings of in-person performances if it has been possible for these to take place.

Prizes range from promotion across Making Music's sector-wide networks, to cash awards towards commissions or other musical activities and projects.

Submissions that have been created as part of Adopt a Composer / Adopt a Music Creator are not eligible to be nominated. However, if your group took part in Adopt a Composer or Adopt a Music Creator but have worked on a separate commission or project with your adopted composer or music creator, then we would love to hear from you.

*Nominations for the 2021 Awards are now closed*

Awards: Best music creator  |  Best arranger  |  Best project (new music)


Best music creator for leisure-time music group

To nominate a music creator, you need to submit:

  • a recording of a piece of music by the music creator, which your group performed in 2020 (the recording doesn't have to be professional, as long as it's good enough quality to hear the piece, and we will accept virtual video or phone recordings)
  • a score of the piece you performed if possible
  • 250 words telling us what was good about this music creator in terms of:
    • the musical excellence of the piece they wrote
    • how appropriate the piece was for your group’s technical ability
    • how effectively the music creator engaged with the group and with the MD, and whether they took feedback and acted on it where necessary.

The prize

For the music creator:
- Framed award
- Inclusion in Making Music's Soundcloud
- Promotion to members
- £200 towards making the piece available to all Making Music members for free, for one year

For the group:
- £300 towards: next commission or other new music-related activity e.g. running their own young music creator competition; or for the hire/purchase of new music sheet music which might otherwise be too expensive

Download nomination form


Best arranger for leisure-time music group

To nominate an arranger, you need to submit:

  • a recording of an arrangement your group performed in 2020 (the recording doesn't have to be professional, as long as it's good enough quality to hear the piece, and we will accept virtual video or phone recordings)
  • the arrangement score if possible
  • the original piece and score (if possible), and evidence that you had permission (or made your best endeavour to get permission) to have it arranged
  • 250 words telling us what was good about this arranger in terms of:
    • the musical excellence of the arrangement they wrote
    • how appropriate the piece was for your group’s technical ability
    • how effectively the arranger engaged with the group and with the MD, and how well they received your feedback.

The prize:

For the arranger
- Framed award
- Inclusion in Making Music's Soundcloud
- £150 towards making the piece available to all Making Music members for free, for one year

For the group:
- £200 towards commissioning or buying another arrangement

Download nomination form


Best project with a focus on new music

In this category, 'new music' is defined as music written in the 21st century. To submit a project, which needs to have started in 2020, you will need to send us:

  • a recording of the project piece if there is one, and if this is an appropriate way of evidencing this project. If it isn't, please send any other evidence e.g. score if not yet performed, video of part of the event, etc. (if you are sending recordings of any kind the recording doesn't have to be professional, as long as it's good quality enough to hear the piece)
  • an outline of the project in 500 words inluding details of the project. Testimonials of participants and audiences (if there was a performance online or in person), where appropriate, and any relevant information or materials (e.g. marketing materials, score if there is one, photos of the project, programme if there is one)

The prize:

For the group:
- Framed award
- £500 towards another new music project

Download application form