COMA London is an ensemble of strings, woodwind, brass, piano and percussion. There is a very friendly, supportive atmosphere, and we welcome new members on any instrument. We are a mixed ability ensemble ranging from intermediate to graduate level players.
Our aim is to play music of high quality which is accessible to amateur players, whether it is written by established composers, students or COMA members. We work towards concerts – about four concerts a year – and often work directly with the composers. Recently, as part of CoMA’s Open Score project, we have collaborated with composition students from the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance who wrote pieces for us.
We sometimes have evenings when members have the opportunity to try out their own compositional ideas with the ensemble. We have performed at many festivals around the country, including Spitalfields Festival for seven consecutive years, and the bmic Cutting Edge series for three consecutive years.
All players are required to be Ensemble Members of CoMA nationally, and pay subscriptions to cover costs of rehearsals and concerts.
During coronavirus lockdowns we moved to online rehearsals, which were very different to our usual rehearsals, but we rapidly learnt what does and doesn’t work in this new environment. We were very creative and had a lot of fun. Our three online concerts with CoMA Singers are available to watch: Creativity Online in July 2020 (11 works – 9 written during lockdown), Yarn in December 2020 and Chains of Connections in March 2021 (exploring graphic scores and combining individually recorded parts of works from the CoMA repertoire).
We were very pleased to return to live performance in the Octagon in the People’s Palace at QMUL in December 2021.
Matthew Hardy joined CoMA London Ensemble as Music Director in September 2019. He studied conducting at the Royal College of Music with Peter Stark, Howard Williams, and Martyn Brabbins. Whilst at the RCM he assisted conductors Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Jac van Steen. He is the artistic director of East London Music Group with whom he has given several premieres and organised a number of large-scale educational projects. Matthew is also Musical Director of St Albans Rehearsal Orchestra and East London Community Band. He has also recently worked as a guest with Imperial College Symphony Orchestra, University of London Symphony Orchestra, London City Orchestra, and a number of other ensembles. In September 2019 he also started as Musical Director of Southampton University Symphony Orchestra.
We normally rehearse on Tuesday evenings in East London. We welcome all instruments at intermediate to graduate level at the start of each project.
Our Open Rehearsal on Tuesday 21 June is an excellent opportunity to find out more about us, with a view to joining us in the autumn.
Contact Richard Gartner on email@example.com if you would like to join the ensemble or would like more information about us.
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