Adopt a Music Creator pairings 2020/21

Having already developed more than 120 dynamic partnerships between leisure-time music groups and creators over 20 years, our landmark Adopt a Composer project is expanding under a new name for the 2020/21 season

Adopt a Music Creator matches leisure-time choirs, bands, orchestras and ensembles with a composer for a year, leading to a premiere performance, recording and radio broadcast. Meet this year's pairings and find out who has taken part in the past.

Adopt a Music Creator 2020/21 pairings


Litha Efthymiou and Bury St Edmunds Concert Band (mentored by Jenni Pinnock)

Litha Efthymiou is a composer of contemporary classical music. Her work has been supported by Arts Council England, Wellcome Trust, Hinrichsen Foundation and RVW Trust. Several ensembles and soloists have performed her work in venues such as Kings Place, Southbank centre, Royal Albert Hall, and Handel and Hendrix in London. 

The Bury St Edmunds Concert Band has been making music together for 30 years, having been started by Bryan Dalton in 1991. They are a community band, comprising some 55 amateur musicians, with members’ ages ranging from their early 20s through to retirees. They aim to present around a dozen public performances each year, including free-to-all summer concerts in Bury St Edmunds’ renowned Abbey Gardens. Their concerts have raised over £65,000 for local charities, including their local Regency Theatre Royal.

Florence Anna Maunders and Fulham Brass Band (mentored by Fraser Trainer)

After an undergraduate degree at Royal Northern College of Music, Florence Anna Maunders took an extended break from composition, resuming in 2018. Since then she’s enjoyed significant worldwide success, with her compositions performed around the world by leading soloists and ensembles. Her music is immediate, vibrant, unsubtle and exciting, often with a strong sense of dance-like pulsation.

Fulham Brass Band has a 125-year history of music making and strong links with the community. They play an exciting mix of events from high profile TV appearances to self-promoted concerts, community engagements and competitions, having climbed the banding divisions to perform at their highest ever level. They have also enjoyed collaborations with principal players from the Royal Scottish and Philharmonic Orchestras and in 2018 were part of a 30-show run at the Royal Court Theatre.

Fergus Hall and Hepton Singers (mentored by Emily Crossland)

Fergus Hall is a composer, musician and improviser from the west of Scotland. He has written works for improvising ensembles, large jazz works based on Scottish poetry, and a range of chamber and electroacoustic works. Fergus is a graduate of the University of Glasgow (Bmus) and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Mmus).

The Hepton Singers, led by musical director is Dr Richard Bunzl, are based in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. The choir perform varied programmes of mainly a capella music from the 16th Century to the present day. The Hepton Singers have a strong local following, performing regularly in Heptonstall Parish Church as well as other venues across the north of England.

Charlotte Marlow and Newcastle-under-Lyme Community Orchestra (mentored by Colin Riley)

Charlotte Marlow has worked with groups including Streetwise Opera and Tête-à-Tête Festival. She is co-artistic director of Medusa Collective, a radical contemporary arts collective with whom she premiered her socially-distanced new opera Folk Tales. Charlotte’s interests lie in collaborative performance practice, and ways of challenging and engaging with gender narrative on-stage.

Newcastle-under-Lyme Community Orchestra was founded in 2016 by music director Thomas Barlow-Coxon. NULCO brings together people from Newcastle-under-Lyme (and its surrounding Staffordshire areas) to have fun and enjoyment with music. The group has gone from strength to strength, and continuing to impress their concert and busking audiences with each performance. Members’ skills range from beginners to advanced, sharing hopes, friendships, expertise and skills. The group is open to all ages and abilities.

Lucy Callen and The Phoenix Voices (mentored by Colin Riley)

Lucy Callen is a composer, conductor and instrumentalist (piano, flute, accordion). She is currently involved in projects with Septura, Horsham Symphony Orchestra and the London Sinfonietta alongside her studies at the Royal Academy of Music. Lucy finds it important to collaborate closely with musicians, often building her music through aleatoric devices and drawing on influences from medieval material and folksong.

The Phoenix Voices, based in Yeovil, Somerset, is a choir passionately committed to inspiring and enlightening audiences. They accept every person who comes through the door without audition, and create singers and musicians in their own right. Raising money for their community work, the choir seek to combat social isolation in the elderly, and stigma and isolation faced by those living with mental ill-health through music, either in performance or recruitment. In 2016, the Phoenix Session Orchestra was founded and now the choir enjoy the privilege of a live orchestra and band for every main concert.

Collaborate pathway: Ben Lunn, Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra and Ugie Voices (mentored by Ailie Robertson)

The Collaborate pathway allows two Making Music member groups to apply together and be paired up with a music creator. Any combination of groups can apply to collaborate, as long as they are happy to work together!

Winner of two Scottish New Music Awards for his work with Hebrides Ensemble and Drake Music Scotland, Ben Lunn is associate artist for Drake Music and Drake Music Scotland, and Trainee Artistic Director of the Hebrides Ensemble. Ben is also recipient of Creative Scotland’s Create:Inclusion fund, for which he produced a work for string quartet and electronics, and a work for BSL interpreter and ensemble.

Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra is the only saxophone orchestra in Scotland covering the full instrumental range from bass to sopranino saxophones. They make the more unusual sizes of these saxophones available on loan to their members. They are a non-auditioned group with ages ranging from 10 to 78, and playing standards are from beginner to semiprofessional. Under the direction of well-known saxophonist and composer, Richard Ingham, the orchestra explores a diverse repertoire of music from classical arrangements to bespoke compositions.

Ugie Voices was formed in 2018 from Peterhead Choral Society’s remaining members, which had been in existence for 150 years. They maintain the SATB format but are broadening their musical repertoire. Their first performance was a Christmas concert in December 2018 followed by a sellout performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury in Peterhead Sheriff Court in May 2019, a fitting venue for the performance. Having succeeded in starting to grow their membership following this performance, they can’t wait to get going again.

CoDI project, Wales: Eloise Gynn and Côr Meibion Mynwy (Monmouth Male Voice Choir) (mentored by Lynne Plowman)

Tŷ Cerdd’s CoDI Composer Pathways project is a multi-faceted programme for artists across Wales. CoDI Composer Pathways (codi in Welsh = to raise; CoDI = Composer Development Initiative) is the first strategic programme of its kind in Wales, developing opportunities for composers and sound creators at all stages of their careers.


Eloise Gynn has had works performed by the London Sinfonietta, Hebrides Ensemble, Berkeley Ensemble and the London Symphony Orchestra, whose recording of Sakura has been released on LSO Live. Recent works include Quietening for solo cello, Reflection, a collaboration with Ajaeng player Yoona Kim at Hwaeom Buddhist Temple and Little Red Riding Hood, Northern Ballet’s latest children’s production.

Monmouth Male Voice Choir (Côr Meibion Mynwy) seeks to uphold the tradition of male voice choirs that grew up out of mining, industrial and religious heritage. It has achieved great things during its short existence, including singing at the Albert Hall, concerts in St David’s Hall Cardiff and singing the anthems on the pitch at Wales v Scotland match in 2016. In addition to these major events, the choir promoted gala concerts in Monmouth and performed at fund raising events for a wide range of good causes.

Meet the mentors

Colin Riley
Colin’s music blends new technologies, improvisation, songwriting and large-scale classical form. His latest works include In Place (Melanie Pappenheim), Rock Paper Scissors (Ensemble Bash), Stream-Shine: violin concerto (Philippa Mo) and Earth Voices (Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra).  A disc of his chamber music was recently released on NMC. He also runs his own label and writes regular blog called Riley Notes.

Emily Crossland
Emily is a composer and community musician. Her work is often theatrical and interactive, and she is influenced by folk and traditional music (she is a keen Javanese gamelan player and currently directs youth and student ensembles at the University of York). Her compositions have been performed at Gaudeamus Muziekweek, National Concert Hall Dublin, Late Music York, and as part of Hull City of Culture. She delivers educational music projects in schools, communities and criminal justice settings across the UK and frequently works as a guest lecturer at the universities of York and York St John.

Fraser Trainer
Fraser teaches at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. A composer with a vivid and direct musical language, Fraser has five London Sinfonietta commissions to his name and has also written music for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Proms, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Fraser leads many creative, collaborative projects in a wide variety of contexts and regularly trains musicians and teachers.

Jenni Pinnock
Jenni’s music focuses on nature, science and the world around us.  She frequently collaborates with both professional and leisure time musicians, alongside delivering composition projects in community and educational settings. Her works, often featuring evocative melody lines and quirky time signatures are regularly performed around the globe. She is also a passionate community music leader, both teaching and running musical ensembles in her local area. She is currently writing a collection of piano pieces and a symphonic work.

Ailie Robertson
Ailie is a multi-award-winning Scottish composer who has been commissioned to compose works by some of the worlds’s most prestigious cultural institutions including the BBC Proms, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bang on a Can, Cappella Nova, Exaudi and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra amongst others. She is currently composer-in-residence with Sound Festival and Glyndebourne Opera. She was winner of the ‘Achievement in New Music’ prize at the Scottish Awards for New Music.

Lynne Plowman
Lynne’s compositions range from instrumental solos to largescale vocal, theatrical and orchestral works. Commissioners and collaborators include Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the London Mozart Players, Presteigne Festival, Piano Circus, UPROAR, the Berkeley Ensemble, O Duo, Okeanos, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the BBC Singers. 

Find out more about our 2019/20 pairings, who have continued to work on their projects throughout the pandemic.

Adopt projects

Composers Groups
Claire Victoria Roberts Camden Symphony Orchestra
Laura Shipsey City of Bristol Brass Band
Alex Paxton Haslingfield Choir
Carmel Smickersgill Junior Leeds College of Music Ensemble Creative
Jonathan Brigg Sussex Folk Orchestra
Rob Jones Edge Chamber Choir
Aileen Sweeney (Scottish project) Helensburgh Oratorio Choir
Composers Groups
Chloe Knibbs Ex Urbe
James Banner Two Rivers Concert Band
Laura Snowden Chandos Chamber Choir
Nathan James Dearden Swansea Philharmonic Choir
Nicholas Olsen Da Capo Alba
Robert Laidlow Southampton Concert Wind Band
Anna Appleby

Merchant Sinfonia

Ben See Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra
Edmund Hunt The Singers
Esmeralda Conde Ruiz The Fretful Federation Mandolin Orchestra
Max Charles Davies Côr Crymych a'r Cylch
Peter Yarde Martin Bellfolk Handbell Ringers
Gaynor Barradell (Scottish project) Edinburgh Concert Band



Adriano Adewale Horsham Symphony Orchestra
Christopher Schlechte-Bond KEMS Concert Band
Mark Boden Croydon Bach Choir
Martin Humphries London Medical Orchestra
Rosie Clements Spectrum Singers
Shona Mackay Glasgow School of Art Choir
Aran Browning (Scottish project) Strathendrick Singers
Ed Scolding La Nova Singers
Neil Tòmas Smith Thame Chamber Choir and TCC2
Angela Slater Lincoln Ukelele Band
Lee Westwood East London Community Band
Alison Willis Chiltern Youth Chamber Orchestra
Chris Hutchings Jan Modelski Community Orchestra
Ailie Robertson Jubilate Ladies Choir
Anna Braithwaite Quirky Choir
Kirsty Devaney Arden Recorder Orchestra
Mark Carroll Strathaven Choral Society
Sean Doherty Kensington Symphony Orchestra
Michael Betteridge Cobweb Orchestra
Kim Moore Bristol Reggae Orchestra
Mak Murtic Clapham Community Choir
Michael Betteridge Cobweb Orchestra
Jenni Pinnock Quangle Wangle Choir
Chris Roe Cambridge Symphony Orchestra
Amble Skuse Ty Cerdd partnership
Soosan Lolavar Tudor Orchestra
James Wilson Southwark Youth Orchestra
Stephanie Conner Rennaisance Singers
Sarah Lewis Bristol Saxophone Ensemble
Rebecca Dale Music for Everyone
Ella Jarman-Pinto Kew Wind Orchestra 
William Dougherty  The London Chorus 
Bernard Hughes Woking Symphony Orchestra 
Ruta Vitkauskaite Flautissimo
Duncan MacLeod  Llandaff Cathedral Choral Society 
Lauren Redhead Grimsby Philharmonic Society 
Aaron Parker Harmonie Concert Band
Andrew Hall  Essex Symphony Orchestra
Chris Swithinbank King Edward Music Society
Emily Crossland Strathclyde University Chamber Choir
Jessica Curry Musarc
Neil Luck BT Melodians
Paul Fretwell St. Albans Rehearsal Orchestra
Nick Chamberlain Glasgow Lyric Choir
George Holloway Finchley Chamber Orchestra & Finchley Chamber Choir
Simon Katan Sans Pareil Singers
Richard Bullen Midlands Fretted Orchestra
Nina Whiteman Colinton Amateur Orchestral Society
Adam Melvin Yorkshire Saxophone Choir
Amber Priestley St. Hilda’s Festival Chorus 
Margaret Haley  Aire Valley Singers
Elizabeth Winters  Kensington Chamber Orchestra
Graham Ross The Knack Singers
Christopher Hussey Bloomsbury Woodwind Ensemble
Richard Glover Solway Harps
Jordan Hunt Midlands Fretted Orchestra
Fumiko Miyachi Lichfield Sinfonia
Claudia Molitor City of Southampton Orchestra
Robert Percy Lewisham Choral Society
Philip Venables South London Jazz Orchestra
Anthony Bailey Milton Keynes Chorale
James McWilliam Ipswich Choral Society
Ben Oliver Yorkshire Philharmonic Choir
Charlie Piper Lambeth Orchestra
Martin Suckling New Edinburgh Orchestra
Jerry Wigens Hampton Singers
Will May Islington Choral Society
Philip Tebbs Hardynge Choir
Simon Lesley North Staffs Symphony Orchestra
Yumi Hara Cawkwell Chantage
Owen Bourne Fulham Symphony Orchestra
Chris Long City of Birmingham Choir
John Reeman Todmorden Orchestra 
Edmund Jolliffe Kensington Chamber Orchestra  
Ed Bennett The Sheffield Chamber Orchestra
Anna Meredith MilnGavie Young Singers
Jonathan Girling Glebe Singers   
Mark Bowden Thames Voyces  
Tazul Tajuddin Hertford Symphony Orchestra
Sophie Viney London Oriana Choir
Jonathan Pitkin St. Albans High School Chamber Orchestra
Nicholas Simpson Sale Choral Society
Chris Beardsley Settle Orchestral Society
Liz Johnson Bournville Children’s Choir
Nick Brown The Phoenix Singers of Shrewsbury 
Tarik O’Regan Leighton Buzzard Festival Singers  
Tim Coker Finchley Chamber Choir
Arlene Sierra Aolian Singers  
Naomi Waltham-Smith Lea Singers
Christine McCombe University of Strathclyde Music Society 
Iain Matheson Meadows Chamber Orchestra
Rachel Leach Leicester Symphony Orchestra
Graham Sheen Westmorland Youth Orchestra
Tom Ingoldsby the EMG Orchestra