CoMA Midwinter Composers Course 2024

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


Start: Tuesday 2nd January 2024. Registration from 11am, sessions from 2pm
End: Saturday 6th January at 1pm 

NB: Due to popular demand, all places for this course have now been allocated. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please complete this form. 

Treat yourself this New Year to a vibrant creative boost with CoMA’s intensive mid-winter five-day composition course, in partnership with Allcomers Music. This course has an impressive track record in taking early-stage composers onto an entirely new level, providing the technical capacity and confidence to realise more ambitious musical projects.

Well-known Scottish composer Alasdair Nicolson will be in residence throughout, structuring the course, offering friendly and supportive advice to composers at all stages of their development, whilst challenging them to push their skills and knowledge. With a focus on string writing, composers will be required to write for amateur strings as well as for a professional string trio. In addition there is the option for participants to create and perform works together as a composers’ ensemble.

We actively encourage applicants from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, specifically those from the Global Majority, d/Deaf and disabled people, working class people and LGBTQ+ identifying people. Two spaces will be reserved and fully funded for those identifying as from an underrepresented background.
Please note: this course is for people aged 18+

Course content

The course offers composers:

  • Pre-course guidance on writing for mixed ability amateur strings, with the option to write for an orchestra of around 30 players or for smaller sized ensembles. Both options requiring an independent double bass part
  • Group tuition classes and one-to-one composition tutorials with Alasdair Nicolson
  • Attendance at all workshops, performing composers’ submitted works with feedback offered by professional string players and by the amateur players
  • Sessions with a professional string trio to inspire and develop new musical ideas
  • Opportunity to come together as a ‘composers ensemble’ to create a collective work for performance on the final day
  • Right to record all composition sessions
  • Concert in the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building presented by the string tutors
Composer guidelinespdf


St Hilda's College
St Hilda's College

St Hilda’s is one of the more recently established colleges of Oxford University and located on the banks of the River Cherwell, opposite the Botanic Gardens and Magdalen Bridge with views across the meadows to Christchurch and other colleges. 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. Both venues are used to accommodate the composers’ course.

There is step-free access to most of the buildings at St Hilda’s, including the Jacqueline Du Pré Music Building. For further details, please see the Access Guide 



NB: Due to popular demand, all places for this course have now been allocated. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please complete this form. 

Fee for the course: £525

This includes tuition and participation in all sessions.

Non-returnable deposit of £50 must be paid at time of booking.

There are additional fees for accommodation and food.

Please visit the application form to see the different options & prices available.

Discounted fee is available for full time students (proof of ID required). 

Any questions? Contact


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