Psappha – Composing For Flute, Composing for Trombone, and Composing for Percussion Schemes

August 15, 2016 in All Opportunities, Composers by mwhiteside

Composing For Flute, Composing for Trombone, and Composing for Percussion Schemes

Applications for Psappha’s Composing for Flute, Composing for Trombone, and Composing for Percussion scheme are now open.


The scheme will support and develop eighteen emerging composers who are interested in learning more about writing for flute, trombone or percussion.


The highly competitive schemes are open to UK-based music creators who have completed their first degree and/or who have left higher education within the last three years.


Aim of the Project

The aim of the project is to give the selected composers direct contact with Psappha’s highly experienced flautist (Conrad Marshall), trombonist (Tony Boorer), and percussionist (Tim Williams) in order to support their development.

Each composer on the Composing for Flute or Composing for Trombone schemes will write a piece for solo flute or solo trombone or for flute or trombone with electronics. Electronics must be limited to two PA speakers (provided by Psappha) and a laptop (which composers will need to provide) due to the size of the space.

Composers on the Composing for Percussion scheme will write a piece that incorporates real time looping using a looping pedal (provided by Psappha) or the composer’s own computer/laptop, plus two PA speakers (provided by Psappha). Electronics must be limited to the equipment set out above due to the size of the space. Prior to the scheme composers writing for percussion will be provided with a list of instruments that will be available for all sessions.

All works will be filmed and sound recorded by Psappha. The films will be hosted on Psappha’s YouTube channel so they can be embedded in the composers’ websites (click to watch the films we created for the Composing for Violin,  Composing for Cello and  Composing for Clarinet schemes). The works created through the process will also be considered for inclusion in a Psappha performance.

How will it work?

Up to eighteen composers will be selected to work with us between October 2016 and April 2017. There will be three 40 minute one-to-one sessions plus a final rehearsal/recording. The timeline is as follows:


Session 1 will take place at Psappha’s Manchester base with each composer meeting with the relevant Psappha musician (flautist/trombonist/percussionist) to discuss and test out initial ideas and concepts. This will be a face to face session. This session will take place in October 2016.


– For session 2 we are willing to experiment with remote working with Facetime, Skype etc. So, it won’t be a requirement to come to Manchester for this session although you are, of course, welcome to attend the session in person. Composers will be required to submit ideas and manuscripts via email 2 weeks prior to the session which will take place in December 2016.


– For session 3 we would prefer this to be another face-to face session but if this is not possible we are willing to experiment with remote working as set out above. Again, the composers are required to submit final drafts of the works two weeks prior to the session which will take place in February 2017.


– For the final rehearsal and recording we expect all composers to be present in Manchester – this session will take place in early April 2017. Composers must submit final works in hard copy four weeks prior to this session.


Who is eligible?

This is a development opportunity for music creators who have completed their first degree and/or who have left higher education within the last three years and who are at an early stage of their composing career. Music creators taking part in the scheme must be based in the UK. The scheme is not open to undergraduate students or to composers who have been establishing their post-HE careers for longer than three years. Nor is it open to composers who have worked with us on the Composing for Piano, Composing for Clarinet, Composing for Cello and Composing for Violin schemes. We encourage applications from music creators from different musical genres. Psappha seeks to attract applications from candidates that reflect the diverse society in England and the UK.


What is required from the composers?

– A genuine commitment to the project.


– To write a work that lasts a maximum of 5 minutes and to agree to participate in the sessions outlined above meeting the required deadlines.


How to apply?

There is no standard application form. Written applications should be sent by email as a single PDF to by Wednesday 14th September 2016 the deadline is 5.30pm.

The following information should be included within you application:

  • Your name
  • Date of birth
  • Full contact details (postal address, mobile phone, email address and website)
  • a concise summary of your composing experience, including a note of whether you are currently studying (at what stage) or whether you have left education within the last three years
  • a link to a short example of your music (score or mp3 or ideally both)
  • a brief description of how you believe this opportunity would support your development (max 300 words).

All applicants will automatically be considered for all three schemes. If you would only like to be considered for a particular scheme or schemes please clearly state this (and the instrument/s) at the start of your application.

Psappha is happy to offer this development opportunity to composers for free and each of the selected composers will receive a bursary of £300.

Psappha is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and  a PRS for Music Foundation provides funding opportunities and support for music creators. For more information about PRS for Music Foundation and the opportunities on offer click HERE.

These Composing for schemes are also supported by The Mercers’ Company, The RWV Trust, The Fenton Arts Trust, and The Garfield Weston Foundation.