The Engaged Composer Professional Development Opportunity

Following our recent online sessions showcasing examples of composers working in community settings, sound and Red Note are now launching The Engaged Composer Professional Development Opportunity for early career composers to devise, develop and deliver inspiring projects with community groups in a fully supported environment. We are looking for composers who are passionate about making and creating music with people and developing skills to facilitate, collaborate and work in different settings.

This six-month programme will consist of online sessions covering practical and administrative related topics, a practical weekend retreat, shadowing opportunities, delivery of your own project, mentoring and a reflective evaluation process. (See schedule below.) The sessions will be led by composers Brian Irvine, Pippa Murphy and Gareth Williams with members of the sound and Red Note management teams.

This opportunity is suitable for early career composers, or those in the latter stages of higher education specifically seeking to develop practical skills and experience in community settings. Participants must be able to commit to all the sessions up front and be in a position to devise and deliver a project of personal choice in their local community.

This development opportunity is free of charge and no fees will be paid. We can offer small travel bursaries to the in-person sessions. Places are limited with priority given to Scottish-based composers. If you are accepted on the programme from elsewhere in the UK, you may need to top up your travel expenses.

NEW EXTENDED DEADLINE: To apply to take part please complete the Application Form by 11pm on Sunday 5 September. Successful applicants will be notified by 7 September.

Please note that sound and Red Note are committed to work with and support composers from under-represented groups and encourage applications from composers from a wide range of backgrounds.

If you would like further information or to speak to someone about the opportunity, please contact Ellen Thomson at sound by email in the first instance: 

The Engaged Composer structure and schedule
Thursday 16 September 2021, 2.5 hours, time tbc
Zoom session 1: Intro and embedding your own practise and compositional voice within community projects.

Thursday 30 September 2021, 2.5 hours, time tbc
Zoom 2: Planning, purpose, outcomes.

Thursday 7 October 2021, 2.5 hours, time tbc
Zoom 3: Animation.

Thursday 14 October 2021, 2.5 hours, time tbc
Zoom 4: Project management and budgeting.

Thursday 4 November 2021, 2.5 hours, time tbc
Zoom 5: Recording and documentation.

Saturday 20 - Sunday 21 November 2021    
Develop your practical skills with fellow participants and our lead composers in a weekend retreat. Course times are to be confirmed along with the venue. It will be in Scotland and timings will work around public transport. (10am-4pm approx.)

December 2021 to March 2022 
Personal project preparation and delivery with two mentoring sessions. We would like you to plan and deliver a small project in your local community as part of the opportunity. This can be with any group and in a location and duration of your own choice. These projects can be tailored to fit with personal, work and study commitments. We will ask for a brief indication of your project idea as part of the application process.
March 26 or 27 2022, tbc
Reflective evaluation session. Date, venue and time to be confirmed, but please save the dates.
Throughout the duration of the programme there is a chance to shadow existing sound and Red Note projects in the community led by composers. These include Red Note’s New Music Makers project and soundfestival 2021 learning & participation events in Aberdeen. Full details will be sent to all successful programme participants to select projects that interest them and work with their existing commitments. Travel expenses will be covered. 

Supported by Fenton Arts Trust and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.