News: Adopt a Composer 2016 pairings announced

Adopt a Composer
Adopt a Composer
Produced by: 
Sound and Music in partnership with Making Music & BBC Radio 3

The Adopt a Composer project is a wonderful, unique annual opportunity for an amateur orchestra, choir or band to 'adopt' an up-and-coming composer.

We are delighted to announce the selceted pairings for 2016/17.

The 2016 'Adoptees'

Adriano Adewale


Adriano Adewale, brazilian percussionist/composer is a versatile musician and performer, known for his unconventional and exploratory approach to music, and for his ability to create magical soundscapes from the seemingly banal. 

Born in Sao Paulo – Brazil. For many years he was known as Adriano Pinto, a colonial name he received at birth. It was after his visit to Africa (Nigeria and Benin Republic) searching for his roots that he changed his name to Adriano Adewale ItaunaRespectively from the Yoruba-Nigeria and Tupi Guarani-Brazil. 

He has collaborated with several leading musicians including Bobby McFerrin, Antonio ForcioneJoanna Macgregor, Britten simphonia and Benjamim Taubkin, one of Brazil’s foremost pianists. 

Find out more about Adriano's work here >> 


Horsham Symphony Orchestra 

The Horsham Symphony Orchestra (HSO) rehearse and perform a wide range of classical music in Horsham, West Sussex. Its members are mainly amateurs but the orchestra is directed and led by professional musicians. HSO often accompany professional soloists and give three sell-out concerts a year at The Capitol, Horsham, thus making a lively contribution to the musical life of Horsham. HSO also arranges orchestral workshops and regular professionally-led coaching sessions for its members and now also runs a second orchestra, H20, for local musicians of all abilities. 

Find out more about HSO here >> 

Christopher Schlechte-Bond 


Christopher Schledchte-Bond is a composer and conductor based in London. He recently graduated as a Master of Composition at the Royal College of Music studying under Simon Holt. He also gained first-class honours in music at King’s College London under Joseph Phibbs, Rob Keeley and Ed Nesbit and has also previously studied with Gilbert Nouno and Joseph Horovitz. 

Christopher composes for the concert hall, for film and for theatre. His compositional style is bold, textural and colourful, with numerous influences that include folk music, world music and electroacoustic music. Recent performances include the premiere of a solo cello piece and a trombone quartet at the Royal College of Music, a Flute and Harp Duo commissioned for the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta and a piece workshopped by internationally renowned historical chamber ensemble Fretwork. 

Find out more about Christopher's work here >>

KEMS Concert Band 

King Edward Music Society (KEMS) of Macclesfield is in its 60th year.  The Concert Band section of KEMS is a community band which has been in existence for 12 years and has about 40 members, ranging from teenagers to those in their 70s. 

The band performs 6 or 7 times a year in formal concerts, stately homes, bandstands and shopping centres. We have also performed in a quarry. We have toured to Belgium and France and will be returning to Belgium in 2017. 

Find out more about KEMS here >> 

Mark David Boden 


Mark David Boden graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2008 continuing his studies as a scholar at the Royal College of Music studying with Ken Hesketh, graduating with Distinction from the MMus course in 2011. 

During his time at RWCMD, Mark was the recipient of several awards including the Dr David Harries Memorial Award (2006), the Eirwen Thomas Scholarship (2007) and the Composition Prize (2008). He has since been awarded a Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal (2008), the Composer's of Wales William Mathias Composition Prize (2009), the British Composer Awards (BASCA) Student Competition (2010) and the University of St. Andrews 600th Anniversary Composition Competition (2011). In 2015 he was awarded the prestigious John Clementi Collard Fellowship from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. 

He has been commissioned ensembles including London Philharmonic Orchestra, Hebrides Ensemble, Sinfonia Cymru and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Several works have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, including Six Degrees, Siegfried Stanzas and Fuochi Distanti 

Find out more about Mark's work here >> 

Croydon Bach Choir 

Croydon Bach Choir formed in 1960 for a performance of the St John Passion, the Croydon Bach Choir is one of the leading choral societies in the South East, with members of all ages and from a wide variety of backgrounds. The choir has provided a vehicle for music-making for well over half a century now and continues to perform regularly and expand its repertoire. Tim Horton was appointed Music Director in 2001 and under his enthusiastic and dedicated leadership the choir has thrived, each season holding a number of concerts in Croydon, including works by Bach but also a diverse range of other choral repertoire. 

Find out more about Croydon Bach Choir here >>

Martin Humphries 


Martin Humphries is a composer and conductor whose music has been performed at the National Museum of Wales, Barbican Centre, Abacus Gallery (Cardiff), Fête de la Mare (France), Celluele133 (Belgium), Idstein Jazz Festival (Germany), Club Inégales (London), CoMA Summer School and Cheltenham Music Festival. He has worked with ensembles including the Fidelio Trio, Lontano, Carducci Quartet, RIOT Ensemble, Fractales and soloists Håkon Stene (percussion), Lore Lixenberg (mezzo-soprano), Michael Finnissy (piano), Gwenllian Llyr (harp), Jonathan Farey (horn) and Sam Warner (cello). Martin’s first opera was performed during his undergraduate studies and his orchestral music has seen performances by both the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. 
As a conductor, Martin works extensively in community settings and was the inaugural recipient of the ‘Best Student Conductor’ award at the National University Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. He is currently musical director of the Cardiff University Wind Orchestra, Ocean Brass Band, and is the founder and director of Oblique3 - a contemporary music group who have commissioned and performed more than a dozen new works. Martin’s first commercial CD ‘Looking In’, was released in 2016 on the Prima Facie (ASC) label, and his music is available through his website 

Find out more about Martin's work here >>

London Medical Orchestra 

"We are a friendly group, rehearsing in a convenient venue in Islington, North London, and playing three concerts each year in local churches.The orchestra was formed in 1954 by refugee doctors and dentists from Central Europe, and combined with the Three Hospitals Orchestra ten years later. Although many of the present members of the Orchestra are not members of the medical or ancillary professions, the Orchestra continues to have as its main purpose the supporting of medical charities through fund-raising concerts."

Find out more about the London Medical Orchestra here >>

Rosie Clements 


Rosie Clements grew up in rural Somerset before moving to Birmingham in 2011 to study composition at Birmingham Conservatoire with Howard Skempton, Sean Clancy and Errollyn Wallen. Her rural beginnings have begun to feed into her work, which often comments on different aspects of her life. 

Rosie has written music for various ensembles including Ensemble Krock, The Schubert Ensemble and Orchestra of The Swan. Her music has been performed at venues throughout Europe including the Orgelpark Amsterdam, Kings Place London and live on Resonance FM. Rosie not only has an interest in composition but also in education, events management and arts admin. She has been the Artistic Director of Frontiers Festival as well as producing events for Soweto Kinch, mac Birmingham and Gaudeamus Muziekweek 

Spectrum Singers 

Spectrum Singers is a Penarth-based vocal group, founded by our late musical director Stuart Edwards; the beautiful arrangements of familiar tunes he gave us to sing are a joy to all those who hear them. 

Now under the exciting musical direction of David Hutchings, we're a mixed SATB choir of singers from around Cardiff numbering no more than 16 voices. We may be compact but we make a surprisingly big sound and specialise in singing a cappella (without accompaniment). The choir's name reflects the extensive range of music we perform, from show tunes and pop songs in concert to classical pieces and sacred music in cathedrals. 

Shona Mackay 


Shona Mackay is a Glasgow-based composer and mixed-media artist whose work is driven by themes of connection, communication and identity. She is interested in the use of music alongside visual and performative elements and is currently exploring work involving installation and interactive formats.  

Recent works include “How to Undress in Front of Your Husband” for video, pre-recorded audio and 14 musicians (Plug Festival, Glasgow, 2016) and “Cloud Hands” for solo cello, written for Jennifer Langridge as part of Psappha Ensemble’s ‘Composing for Cello” scheme (Manchester, 2016). 

Shona studied music at Glasgow University where she trained as a singer and laterally focused her attention on composition. After completing her B.Mus in 2008 she continued her studies at the RSAMD, graduating with an M.Mus (Composition) the following year. 

She is currently undertaking a practice-based PhD at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the supervision of Dr Gordon McPherson. 

Find out more about Shona's work here >>

The Glasgow School of Art Choir 

The Glasgow School of Art Choir is a non-auditioned ensemble primarily comprising past and present staff and students of The Glasgow School of Art. The choir was founded with the principal aim of creating an amateur chorus which would perform to a standard far above that of an average amateur group, an objective we continue to pursue. The ensemble has quickly gained a reputation for outstanding musical discipline and is committed to expanding its repertoire and the musicianship of its members. The 65-strong ensemble's debut album will be released on 30th September 2016. 

Find out more about The GSA Choir here >>  

Aran Browning 


Aran Browning is an English composer from the Lake District. He recently graduated with First Class Honours from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the tutelage of Rory Boyle. Since coming to Glasgow he has worked with a variety of performers and artists including Mieko Kanno, Red Note Ensemble, the ECME, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, London-based director Jack Lynch, Ensemble Modern and through Leeds Lieder, poet Ian Harker. He was involved in the pilot project Inclusive Creativity and his work ‘Gameshow Format’, a collaboration with Drake Music Scotland incorporating different technologies alongside acoustic instruments into a combined ensemble, lead to him being awarded the Kimie Composition Prize, through Live Music Now, to create a new work to be performed in inclusive environments. The resulting piece, ‘Cardboard Creations’, was premiered as part of the St Magnus Festival in 2016 and is regularly performed by Sirocco Winds. Aran is currently working on a number of projects including scoring the short film ‘Listen’ with director Sean Boyle and a collection of short documentaries alongside Toronto-based visual artist Tong Lam who he previously collaborated with on ‘Weight of History’. 

Find out more about Aran's work here >> 

Strathendrick Singers 

Strathendrick Singers will celebrate their 40th birthday in 2017, and the 10th anniversary of our association with Music Director, Mark Evans, so the Adopt a Composer scheme is a perfect way for us to celebrate.  We are a 50-strong amateur choir, drawing our singers from the communities of West Stirlingshire.  Known mainly for our classical repertoire, Strathendrick Singers has performed major works by Mozart, Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Beethoven, and Fauré.  Contemporary works tackled with critical success include the Scottish Premiere of Ola Gjeilo’s Sunrise Mass; Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna; and Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace. We have also commissioned and performed a work by the world-renowned composer Sally Beamish, who lives locally. 

About Adopt a Composer 

Adopt a Composer, a project linking the UK’s up-and-coming composing talent with its vibrant voluntary music scene, has launched for its 15th year. As the name would suggest, the programme works by enabling amateur music groups to ‘adopt’ a composer over the course of a year, with the composers each writing a new piece especially for their partnered group.  

Adopt a Composer is run by Making Music in partnership with Sound and Music, in association with BBC Radio 3, and funded by PRS For Music Foundation and the Philip and Dorothy Green Music Trust. It works exclusively with composers at the start of their careers, giving them crucial ‘real world’ compositional experience, as well as guidance from established mentors – Colin RileyFraser Trainer and David Horne.  

In return, the voluntary music groups get the chance to have a piece of music composed around their own particular styles and abilities, and to get directly involved in the composition process. The project also gives excellent exposure opportunities for both the composers and groups, with recordings of many of the pieces broadcast on BBC Radio 3

Sound and Music is very proud to be apart of this initiative as Richard Whitelaw, Head of Programmes explained:

“Adopt a Composer is a lively and challenging project for composers and ensembles alike. It has made a hugely positive impact on the skills and confidence of the many composers who have participated in it over the  years. Sound and Music is very proud of its continuing partnership in this unique programme.”   

Barbara Eifler, Executive Director, Making Music said:

“This is a favourite project with members and there are always more applicants than there are places available. Adopt a Composer’s popularity shows the amateur music sector’s appetite for new music and for their own artistic development. It is the amateur music sector which pioneers many living composers in every corner of the UK and this programme supports that amateur ambition excellently.” 

Keep up to date on this project #AdoptaComposer 

The scheme is funded by the PRS for Music Foundation and run by Making Music in partnership with Sound and Music.

For more information please visit the Making Music website and the Adopt a Composer blog

Find out more about Adopt a Composer 


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