Adopt a Composer scheme – Scottish Pairing

July 3, 2017 in All Opportunities, Composers by mwhiteside

The deadline for applications for Scottish composers is 5pm Thursday 13th July 2017.

The scheme pairs amateur choirs, orchestras or ensembles with up-and-coming composers for 12 months to collaborate and produce a new piece of music, culminating in a premiere performance and a broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Composers are mentored by Colin Riley, David Horne and Fraser Trainer with costs and expenses covered by the PRS Foundation, and retain all rights to the score.

I am currently talking to other choirs about getting another performance. This would mean the world to me, as it is not an understatement to say Adopt a Composer was about the most exciting experience of my life.

Rebecca Dale – paired with Music For Everyone, 2012/13

The process

  • July: applicant interviews
  • September: pairings announced at launch event – meet your group!
  • November: the group hosts a workshop introducing you to their members
  • January: you and your group workshop/rehearse the pieces in progress
  • February – April: further workshops and rehearsing of the draft piece
  • May – September: premiere concert (usually recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3)

Who else is involved?

Each pairing will be appointed with a mentor who will be there in the initial meetings when the composer and performing group are getting to know each other. They act as a source of ongoing advice to both composer and group as the work is composed, in musical and practical terms.

The mentor will be somebody who is experienced in this field. They will attend sessions with the composer and be available for e-mail and telephone contact.

Financial info

The composer costs, fees for the mentoring composer, and all expenses related to the placement of the composer will be paid by the project. Travelling expenses for scheduled visits to London will be paid for via Making Music/Sound and Music – details are provided on the launch day.

The composer retains all rights to the score. 

How to apply

To apply to take part, complete and submit the online form below. If you would prefer to complete the application form as a Word doc, or if you have any further questions, please contact Sally Palmer (


Before completing this form ensure that you satisfy the following criteria:

  • At the right point in your career as a composer (entering the profession, but not yet “established”)
  • Not in full time education
  • Based within the UK
  • Can commit in terms of time and travel to the project (project duration is approximately one season i.e. 9-12 months)
  • Can demonstrate an understanding of amateur music groups and of collaborative approaches to composition
  • Preferably have some experience of working with amateur groups, either as a composer, performer, or other.

Shortlisted applicants will be asked to send us an example of a score and if shortlisted further will be invited to attend an interview in July 2017. Successful applicants will be asked to attend a launch day in London in mid-September 2017.

Applicants will also be asked to attend two composer days run by Sound and Music: one in October 2017 and the other in March 2018. Please ensure that you will be available for all of these days. We will inform you of the dates as soon as they have been confirmed.