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Composition Commission Opportunity

Berwick Church are working in partnership with Glyndebourne and East Sussex Music to commission a new song cycle for children, to be premiered in December 2021.

Berwick Church are working in partnership with Glyndebourne and East Sussex Music (part of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival) to commission a new song cycle for children, to be premiered in December 2021.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the composer is asked to create a piece that could be performed in both digital and live scenarios.


To compose a cycle of 3 short songs and music of approx. 6-9 mins total duration in collaboration with young people at four primary schools local to Berwick Church. This will be online or in person depending on COVID-19 regulations at the time of composition. The composer will be asked to write for children’s choir and piano and to produce a score and parts by the end of August to enable the creation of learning resources (annotated parts, backing tracks, Makaton tutorials etc).

The music should be suitable for children aged 7-11 and accessible for a massed, mixed-ability choir and should include a chorus/repeated sections that are suitable for children with Special Educational Needs/Disability to learn and sign using Makaton (the composer does not need to know Makaton signs but will be asked to consider the ‘language load’ or number of unfamiliar words included).

Proposal and Submission Dates

Please send a short proposal outlining your idea for the project (1000 words or less). Please also include your biography and examples of previous work (web links, films, recordings etc.) If you would like to suggest other creative collaborators who you would like to work with on this project please also include their biographies. Please email proposals and accompanying documents to maevents@brightondome.org by 5pm Monday 19 April 2021.

Event Context and Responding to COVID-19

Originally this commission was due to be performed as part of the ‘Big Sings’, a popular concert series involving over 3500 children from 110 different schools. Big Sings have included a range of religious and secular songs. Repertoire is chosen by East Sussex Music and Glyndebourne and taught to teachers/school choir leaders at a workshop in September. During the autumn term, school choir leaders then teach the repertoire to their school choirs. Please note that not all school choir leaders are music specialists and school choirs are mixed ability groups of children aged 7 – 11. A number of Special Schools also take part in the event and we work closely with colleagues in these schools to ensure access to the performances for all children who would wish to take part.

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