The programme helps emerging UK-based composers from diverse backgrounds explore the many opportunities that exist for composers working in educational settings, whether writing for a school orchestra, community choir, graded exam syllabus or online resource. The composers will receive dedicated mentoring from composer and educator Sarah Watts, as well as specialist input as they work through a series of compositional tasks, both with ABRSM and with a range of partner organisations.
Selected with support from the Ivors Academy, Black Lives in Music and the Musicians’ Union, the composers taking part are Fraz Ireland, Frederick Viner, Jose Puello, Kassia Bailey, Lillie Harris and Louise Drewett. They will be joining for the six-month programme which runs from September 2023 to February 2024.
ABRSM’s Partnerships Manager and composer James Welburn, who manages the programme, says:
“It’s such a privilege to get alongside composers in the early stages of their careers and to explore with them the exciting opportunities that are out there for composers looking to write music in educational contexts. In addition to working with our range of partner organisations to compose music for specific educational settings, composers on the programme have really enjoyed putting their skills and creativity to the test in writing music for an ABRSM exam syllabus, coming up with ideas that are fresh, engaging, appealing and, crucially, suitable for assessment. We’re delighted with the output from the first two cohorts, which has contributed significantly to the rich diversity of music featured in our latest syllabuses.”
Composers Kristina Arakelyan and Shruthi Rajasekar from the 2021 cohort are featured in the latest Piano syllabus, while 2022 composer mentees Amit Anand, Florence Anna Maunders, Michael Betteridge and Natalie Bleicher were featured in the latest Double Bass syllabus.