MidWinter Composers Course

Take your composing to a new level at St Hilda's College and Jacqueline du Pré Music Centre, Oxford.

1 residential course

Treat yourself this New Year to a gigantic creative boost with CoMA’s intensive mid-winter five-day composition course. With a track record for taking composers onto an entirely new level, the course provides the technical capacity and confidence to realise more ambitious musical ideas and projects.

The composition tutor will offer friendly and supportive advice to composers at all stage of their developments, advice that is nevertheless challenging and deeply instructive.  With a focus on string writing, composers are required to write for amateur strings as well as for a professional string trio.  One session each day is dedicated to writing as a composers’ ensemble.

CoMA course participants have variously described the course as providing an ‘amazing time’, offering ‘great feedback’ and ‘unique opportunities for collaboration’, and as an ‘inspiring’ way to kick off the New Year. Past composition tutors have included Tansy Davies, Gerald Barry, Sally Beamish, Philip Cashian, Alasdair Nicolson and Andrew Toovey.

Course content

  • Pre-course guidance on writing for strings with option to write for amateur mixed ability string orchestra or chamber size string quintet
  • Group tuition classes and one-to-one composition tutorials with a leading UK composer
  • Attendance at all workshops performing composers’ submitted works with feedback by professional performers
  • Sessions with a professional trio to inspire and develop new musical ideas
  • Working as a ‘composers ensemble’ to create a collective work for performance
  • Right to record all composition sessions
  • Concerts in the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building presented by string tutors

The following document provides guidelines for composing for the course ensembles.

Composer guidelinespdf


St Hilda's College
St Hilda's College

St Hilda’s, one of the more recently established colleges of Oxford University, is located on the banks of the River Cherwell, opposite the Botanic Gardens and the Magdalen Bridge. The Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, the first purpose built concert hall in Oxford since the time of Handel, is located within the college grounds and accommodates the composers’ masterclass and allcomers’ orchestral and quintet sessions, chamber groups and evening concerts.


Fees have not been fixed, but are expected to range from £395 for a day visitor to £645 for full board in a single occupancy room with washbasin (£740 in an ensuite room). There are a limited number of bursaries for full time students offering £145 off the full price. This means that full time students can attend for as little as £250. Many colleges have funds to cover course fees.

The course is limited to eight composers and has been over-subscribed in recent years.

The booking form will be ready soon but you can conatct info@coma.org to register your interest or if you have any questions.

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