Adopt a Music Creator: groups

The Adopt a Music Creator project matches leisure-time choirs, bands, orchestras and ensembles with a music creator for a year, to work towards creating a unique new work.

Groups are selected by a panel including one mentor, and representatives from Making Music, Sound and Music and PRS Foundation.

"[Our piece] Jumpcut/Longshot is a triumph of modern music. Southampton Concert Wind Band’s association with [composer] Robert has been immersive, instructive and an overall amazing experience. It has added so much to our growth as a band."

Your group will need to be a member of Making Music in order to apply. There are three different pathways to apply for Adopt a Music Creator, and this also depends on where you're located in the UK.

England, Northern Ireland, Scotland

1. Create Pathway: As with the Adopt a Composer project, single groups can apply to be paired up with a music creator. Applications for this pathway have now closed.

2. Collaborate Pathway: Two groups can apply together and be paired up with a music creator. Any two groups can apply to work together (both must be Making Music members), whether they have the same musical director or two different musical directors. Any combination of groups can apply to collaborate, whether a female choir and a male choir, an adult band and junior band that are normally part of the same overall group, a saxophone orchestra and children’s choir, or any other combination - as long as you are happy to work together! Both groups need to complete an application. Applications for this pathway have now closed.

England, Northern Ireland

3. Choose Pathway: Single groups can apply to hold a competition to choose their own music creator for the project. You will set up your own competition at the beginning of May to find your music creator (closing your application process on 15 June), and select your music creator by 31 July. Certain restrictions apply and guidance will be given on the competition process throughout. Applications for this pathway have now closed


Groups can apply via Tŷ Cerdd’s CoDI programme. Tŷ Cerdd will select one group and music creator pairing that will join the Adopt a Music Creator project for the year. Visit Tŷ Cerdd's website to find out more about the CoDI programme and how to apply. Applications for this pathway have now closed.

How does the project work?

Following the application process, if you're successful, your group will work with an up-and-coming music creator for the year during which the music creator (mentored by an experienced professional) will write a new piece specifically tailored to your group or groups. 

The process (guide only)

  • 3 October: pairings announced at launch event (London)- meet your music creator!
  • October - December: your group hosts a workshop introducing the music creator to your members
  • January: you and your music creator workshop/rehearse the piece in progress
  • January/February: MD attends our Group Development Day to meet other participating groups and share ideas and learnings
  • February - April: rehearsing of the draft piece
  • May - December: premiere concert (usually recorded for a possible broadcast on BBC Radio 3)

Once you've agreed which pathway your group would like to apply for, you can apply online. If you would prefer to fill in a Word version of the application form, please contact Sally Palmer at

Any questions?

If your group is thinking about applying for Adopt a Music Creator but isn’t sure yet whether to go ahead, have a look at these answers to some key questions that might help you decide. 

What is the difference between the three Adopt a Music Creator pathways?

If you'd simply like to be paired with a music creator, then apply via Create Pathway. If you want to work with another group AND a music creator, apply via the Collaborate Pathway. And if you want to find your own music creator to work with, apply via the Choose Pathway.

Is it free to take part in the project?

The music creator's costs, fees for the mentor, and expenses related to the placement of the music creator will be paid by the PRS Foundation. Groups will need to pay their travel expenses to the Adopt Music Creator launch, Musical Drector’s Group Day and £100 towards recording their new piece if they would like Making Music to record it.

Does our group need to be classical to take part?

No, we welcome all types of groups! Community choirs, concert bands, bell ringers, ukulele bands, a reggae orchestra and many more can take part.

We’ve already organised next year's season, finishing in July 2021. Does that mean we’re too late to apply for Adopt a Music Creator this year?

Not at all! The process on this webpage is only a guide. Each project is completely different and each music creator-group pairing can decide what works best for them. It’s fine for premieres to be scheduled in the autumn term of 2021.

How much rehearsal time would we need to give to the project?

Most groups rehearse one evening a week, and on the whole, the Adopt a Music Creator project should be able to fit into that structure. You can also organise an extra, longer workshop on a weekend, but each project is very different and you’ll be able to decide with your music creator how best to manage the time you spend on the project.

What happens if we find that the dynamic between ourselves and the music creator isn't as good as it could be?

The Adopt a Music Creator judging panel works very hard to look carefully at the needs of each group and composer and match them up accordingly. If your group applies to do the Choose Pathway, then you'll be able to choose your own music creator by running a competition.

The project’s aim is to encourage groups to move out of their comfort zone and produce a collaborative piece of new music that both they and their adopted music creator can be proud of. To create the best kind of working relationship with your music creator, it’s important that you keep an open mind and open communication with them throughout the journey. We also provide an experienced mentor for you and your music creator, who is there to offer support, guidance and help with the smooth running of the relationship.

How do we get in touch with a music creator to see if they would like to work with our group? Does Making Music have a list of music creators who are looking for a group to work with?

Music creators apply separately to the Adopt a Music Creator project. If your group applies for either the Create or Collaborate pathways, we will match your group with a music creator.

If your group applies to do the Choose pathway, you will be able to hold your own competition to find a music creator.

Can you tell me more about organising the workshop in the autumn to introduce the music creator to my group?

The workshop can normally take place at one of your usual rehearsals; however it’s entirely up to you arrange what date or length of workshop best suits your group and your music creator.

When would we be likely to see the first draft of our piece for rehearsal?

At the beginning of the project you need to work out a suitable timetable with your music creator and mentor. Each project works to a different time frame according to when you schedule your premiere concert.

What date is the ‘Group Development’ day in January?

We’ll schedule this day when the groups have been selected, according to everyone’s availability.

When will I hear if our group has been successful?

Groups will be shortlisted in early July - if you’re shortlisted we will arrange a short telephone call with the musical director of your group. You will hear if you have been selected shortly after the music creator interviews in August.

Who owns the rights to the new piece?

The music creator retains all rights to the score.

Can we nominate a music creator we know as our adopted music creator for this project?

No, but if your group applies to do the 'Choose' pathway and run a competition to find a music creator, you can then choose the music creator you'd like to work with.

We want to choose our own music creator. What should the criteria be for music creators entering our competition?

The criteria for music creators recruited via the Choose Pathway competition is the same as for the other pathways. They must be:

  • an emerging music creator with less than 5 (not necessarily continuous) years of professional practice in the leisure-time sector
  • not in full-time education
  • based within the UK 
  • able to demonstrate an understanding of leisure-time music groups and of collaborative approaches to composition
  • able to commit in terms of time and travel to the project (project duration is approximately 9-12 months, possibly up to December 2021).

There should be no age limit and the successful music creator must be chosen by a panel.

Can we charge music creators to enter our competition?

The competition must be free to enter. 

What timeframe should we use for our competition?

The music creator competition will open at the beginning of May and applications will close on 15 June. You will need to have selected your music creator by 31 July.

How should music creators apply?

Music creators will need to complete an application form stating why they want to take part, and include two sound files of their compositions and possibly a score.

Our group just applied to the Adopt a Music Creator project using the online form but have not received an email confirmation. How do I know you have received our application?

When you submit the online form you get a confirmation message on screen so you know that it has been submitted.

If you do not see the message, there are probably errors on the form which have prevented it from being submitted. Have a look at the form again and you should be able to see notes as to what these errors are and how to fix them. We also send an email confirmation a few days later; if you don’t receive this email please get in touch with us to check we have received your application.

If my group and another group are applying together to take part in the Collaborate pathway, do both our groups need to be members of Making Music?

Yes, both groups need to be members of Making Music to take part. Find out more about joining in the membership section of our website.


Welsh programme in partnership with:

If your group would like to take part in the project but isn't a member of Making Music, find out how to join.