Development opportunity for emerging Scotland-based composers

We are offering three to four composers the opportunity to develop short works for unaccompanied chamber choir working alongside Con Anima and under the guidance of composer, James Weeks.

The new works will be performed by Con Anima during the 2022 soundfestival

Draft schedule:

Session 1: Introduction to Con Anima and writing for chamber choir

Date: early July date tbc
Location: Online/Zoom

This first session will primarily allow you to meet with Con Anima, listen to examples of previous performances and get some pointers from composer James Weeks.

Session 2:

Date: 25 August 2022
Location: Aberdeen

Con Anima singers will workshop the new pieces (drafts of which should have been delivered mid-August) with James Weeks and the composers.  The composers will then have a week to make any adjustments.


Date: Saturday 29 October 2022
Location: Aberdeen

Con Anima will perform the new works as part of soundfestival 2022.
Details of the final rehearsal will be given to the composers as soon as finalised.


The composers will be offered an online mentoring slot with James Weeks during the writing of their piece.


The successful candidates will be emerging composers resident in Scotland. They can be at any stage in their career, however they should be able to demonstrate a number of years of compositional experience, and be able to articulate their development needs and how the opportunity would benefit them.

Please note that we are committed to working with and supporting composers from under-represented groups. Female, trans, gender-diverse and ethnic minority composers as well as composers with a disability are encouraged to apply.


To apply for the opportunity please click here.

Deadline: 20 June 2022
Decision: we will inform you whether you are successful or not by 28 June 2022.

If further information is required, please contact

Selection process:

As mentioned above we are committed to working with and supporting composers from under-represented sections of the population. To enable this, there is a two-stage application process: an initial selection is made, and then this is narrowed down in a second stage selection process. If you are a female, disabled and/or BAME composer, you can self-select to be put forward automatically to the second round if you want. The selection panel will be made up of a representative(s) of Con Anima, the composer mentor and a representative of sound.

Notes to composers applying

Selection for new music opportunities is inherently subjective and the criteria used can differ from project to project. We are frequently over-subscribed and often the quality of applications is extremely high from a wide range of composers, which usually means making difficult decisions.

Reasons for selecting one composer over another are not always to do with skill level or experience. We may, for example, be looking for the right fit for us as an organisation at a particular point in time e.g. we may be looking to develop specific strands or activity or genres of music.

For development opportunities that happen in a group setting, it may be that we need to take into consideration the coherence of that group e.g., we may prefer to have composers of a similar experience-level. We thus sometimes end up turning down composers with more experience or skills, or giving opportunities to composers who we feel would benefit most from a particular opportunity at that stage in their career, and faced with difficult choices we may sometimes turn down composers who have already benefitted from a number of opportunities in the past.

We would however encourage composers to apply for any opportunities that interest them and for which they fit the specification, and not be discouraged if they are not selected for a particular opportunity, as it does not mean that they are not “good” enough. Please do continue to apply for any opportunity that interests you!

This development opportunity is a collaboration between sound and Con Anima Chamber Choir.

sound is a new music incubator based in North East Scotland, initially set up to give local audiences access to new music. It is now renowned in and beyond Scotland for producing and promoting high-quality work, for its support to composers of all generations and for attracting new audiences through its varied programming and inclusive nature.

Con Anima is a chamber choir based in Aberdeen. Since its formation in 1995, Con Anima has performed and developed an extensive, highly-varied and critically-acclaimed programme of new music.

This opportunity is part of sound's 2022-2023 soundcreators programme which focuses on nurturing creative talent.

soundcreators is kindly supported by Creative Scotland, Foyle Foundation, Hugh Fraser Foundation, Hope Scott Trust, Aberdeen City Council and PRS for Music Foundation as part of its Talent Development Network.