Making Music Workshop

I went to London on Sunday for a workshop organised by Making Music for the Music Directors of the participating groups of the Adopt a Composer scheme. There were about 10 of us there and in the morning session we heard from previous AAC Musical Directors, Donald Halliday from The Singers in Durham and Lindsay Stone of The Fretful Federation Mandolin Orchestra in Brighton and former AAC composer Anna Appleby, who was previously paired with Glasgow orchestra, The Merchant Sinfonia. They spoke about the benefits of the project and how their groups reacted to each milestone, how their timeline worked, any issues that arose and how they dealt with them. We also talked about how the recording will take place. The day provoked a lot of thoughts and ideas- there is no one way to accommodate a composer and the options are limitless when it comes to writing a piece of music. It was particularly interesting to hear about Anna’s experiences composing for leisure-time groups versus professional groups (it sounds like she much prefers the former!). After a lovely lunch chatting to other members we divided into an orchestral group and a vocal group and continued discussions, this time led by AAC mentor, Jenni Pinnock. Some of the ideas that came up were getting professional photos of the premiere, performing on stage as usual or processing in or out to the music, performing the piece as whole or interspersing movements with other repertoire, having a presenter for the concert and having an introduction by the composer at the premiere or even at a previous concert. Another group had set up a facebook group for members to keep in touch with the composer and had put a Vlog on their website. I have been inspired to meet soon with Aileen and listen to previous years on BBC Sound. It was a really useful day!

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