Making Music is proud to champion and celebrate leisure-time music groups all those who work with them. We present annual awards for Best Music Creator and Best Music Arranger, who are nominated by Making Music member groups that they have worked with. Some of the music creators and arrangers have agreed to share their work for performance with other leisure-time music groups.
Below you can listen to recordings of each of the original pieces, and read accompanying notes from the composers to help you identify which piece might work best for your group. We look forward to many more performances of these wonderful new compositions - let us know if you're thinking about performing them!
Aleksandar Kostić, Best Music Creator 2020
Nominated by Eclectic Voices
"Aleksandar Kostić’s composition Hymns to the Night is made up of disarmingly simple motifs that are deeply emotional and evoke ancient civilisations. It immediately captures the attention of both die-hard classical music lovers and those who rarely listen to classical music. His motifs gradually interweave to create magical and complex moods and climaxes. There is wonderful interplay and support between the orchestra, choir and soloists.
Our choir is an amateur, auditioning choir. Our MD Scott Stroman sets us great challenges, such as Bach’s B Minor Mass and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Hymns to the Night presented more rhythmic than harmonic challenges and we were encouraged to learn by ear as much as possible. The piece was a great learning process for us and also for the orchestra.
We performed the world premiere of Hymns to the Night in Berlin. Kostić was still composing parts of it while we were rehearsing in London and was reacting positively to our MD’s suggested changes. Their musical relationship goes back to 2010 when we performed the premiere of Kostić’s Song of Songs. With Kostić based in Berlin and us in London there was continuous email and phone communication between Kostić and Stroman after each rehearsal. Scores would be amended accordingly. Kostić came to London shortly before the concert and his enthusiasm for how we were progressing greatly encouraged us. He was also involved in the pre-concert rehearsals in Berlin. The choir would love to work with him again." - Eclectic Voices
The score for Alexander's piece is available to download and perform for free until October 2021.
George Morton, Best Arranger 2020
Nominated by Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra
"As George Morton is also our conductor he has a deep understanding of our orchestra’s capabilities. He arranged Clara Schumann’s Quatre Pièces Caractéristiques for us in 2019 and as well as being a top-quality arrangement, it also pushed the ensemble to a comfortable degree. George’s arrangement captured the essence of Schumann’s original piano score, with colourful textures, instrumentation and character threaded throughout.
Due to his position within the orchestra, George was able to easily communicate with the orchestra about this arrangement. He confided in players about how their parts are set out as well as making any necessary edits promptly. Feedback was well received by George and he was able to effectively explain his musical choices to players. There were not many issues from the orchestra as George had ensured that our parts were as free from errors as possible.
The arrangement is excellent and was a unique piece for the Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra to perform. From the intricate woodwind writing, to the clever string and brass orchestrations, George was able to really grasp the charming character of Schumann’s piece and apply it to a much larger ensemble. George had the hard job of trying to sell this piece to an orchestra where most people did not know the original, and he certainly achieved this as we were rehearsing it.
George has such a deep understanding of the music he is orchestrating and often shared interesting nuggets of information from his orchestration processes. This really engaged the orchestra, who soon fell in love with the piece too." - Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra
George has created chamber versions of his piece that are adapted especially for groups in the current pandemic climate, and is offering the scores (both versions) with 75% discount to Making Music members. To hire parts, visit George's website.
We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.