Mandolin orchestra and handbell ringers among music groups selected for unique year-long partnership with professional composer

Adopt a Composer – a project linking the UK’s up-and-coming composing talent with its vibrant leisure-time music scene – returns for its 18th year.

This unique scheme offers leisure-time musicians the chance to work directly with a composer, become actively involved in the creative process and contribute to the development of new music. The composer, in return, has the opportunity to form a close working relationship with the ensemble – with the time to respond to the groups personalities and interests; an opportunity not always possible in professional commissions.

Adopt a Composer 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 Riley, David Horne, Fraser Trainer and new mentor this year Jenni Pinnock. Since it began in 2000, Adopt a Composer has produced over 90 new commissions, with many of the composers going on to have success nationally and internationally.

The project also gives excellent exposure for both the composers and groups, with recordings of many of the pieces broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

“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.” Richard Whitelaw, Director of Programmes, Sound and Music

“Adopt a Composer’s popularity shows the leisure-time music sector’s appetite for new music and for their own artistic development. It is the leisure-time music sector which pioneers many living composers in every corner of the UK and this programme supports that ambition excellently.” Barbara Eifler, Executive Director, Making Music

Adopt a Composer is run by Making Music in partnership with Sound and Music (the national agency for new music), in association with BBC Radio 3, and funded by PRS Foundation and the Philip and Dorothy Green Music Trust. For the second time Creative Scotland has provided additional funding for a Scottish project.

The selected pairings for 2017/18 are as follows:

  • Anna Appleby with Merchant Sinfonia (Scotland) mentored by David Horne
  • Ben See with Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra Society (Surrey) mentored by Colin Riley
  • Edmund Hunt with The Singers (Tyne & Wear) mentored by Fraser Trainer
  • Esmeralda Conde Ruiz with The Fretful Federation Mandolin Orchestra (East Sussex) mentored by Fraser Trainer
  • Max Charles Davies with Côr Crymych a'r Cylch (Wales) mentored by Colin Riley
  • Peter Yarde Martin with Bellfolk Handbell Ringers (Norfolk) mentored by Jenni Pinnock
  • Scottish Project
  • Gaynor Barradell with Edinburgh Concert Band mentored by David Horne


For more information contact Ollie Mustill, Marketing & Communications Manager

Making Music, 8 Holyrood Street, London, SE1 2EL

020 7939 6030

Making Music, The National Federation of Music Societies
A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales no. 308632
Registered Charity in England and Wales no. 249219 and in Scotland no. SC038849

Notes to editors:

Since 1935, Making Music has been the membership organisation for leisure-time music in the UK, bringing together musicians and music groups of all genres and abilities.

We support, connect and champion everyone who makes, performs and presents music on a voluntary basis. The services we provide allow our members – ranging from symphony orchestras to samba bands – to cross the boring things off their ‘to-do’ lists and get on with making music.

As the voice of leisure-time music among policy makers and stakeholders at a national and regional level, we aim to transform lives and enrich communities across the UK through music making.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Making Music, on Saturday 30 September, 2017. For more information subscribe and follow

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Mandolin orchestra and handbell ringers among music groups selected for unique year-long partnership with professional composer