CoMA Leeds


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About

Interested in playing Contemporary Music? CoMA Leeds is a lively, friendly group who take playing new music seriously but still have fun. We have a mixture of instruments, musical abilities, and backgrounds and are always actively looking for new members – all instruments are welcome. We don’t audition but we are a performing group and some sight-reading ability is needed.

As a local CoMA group we have a wide repertoire of new music available to us, some of which has been specially commissioned by CoMA. There is also opportunity to play with other groups locally and nationally at CoMA events and festivals.  We gave concerts as part of the National Festival of Contemporary Music for All in 2022  and, most recently, in March 2024 at the HEART Centre in Headingley.

Members of our group are also working with others to organise a weekend event in York on 26th and 27th October 2024, ‘Create: Explore: CoMA in Yorkshire‘.  This event will include workshops, an ‘Open to All Orchestra’ and more.  Full details and a link to the booking form are available from here .  Registration is now open so it’s time to sign up!

CoMA Leeds with CoMA East Midlands in Sheffield 2014
CoMA Leeds with CoMA East Midlands in Sheffield 2014

Rehearsals

We normally meet on the first Wednesday of each month from 7.30 to 9.30 pm at the Roundhay Friends Meeting House.  The address is Friends Meeting House, 136 Street Lane, Leeds LS8 2BW.  Bus numbers 2 (regularly) and 12 (occasionally) run along Street Lane from Leeds City Centre.

At our May 2024 meeting we experimented with fixed electronics and improvisation, demystified by Ben Gaunt, a lecturer at Leeds Conservatoire and a composer/performer of electroacoustic music. A very enlightening session!  Ben is returning for our next session, on Wednesday 3rd July, to start work on an electronics piece he wants to develop with us.

Ben will also be leading a workshop at Create: Explore: CoMA in Yorkshire‘ in York on 26th and 27th October 2024.

Cost

£10 a session, or £40 for the 4 sessions from April to July 2024.

Part of the subscription goes to the national CoMA organisation.  CoMA nationally is happy to receive regular donations by standing order .

Contact

Email us at leeds@coma.org

Our 2024 Festival concert

Our contribution to the 2024 National Festival of New Music for All was a concert on 6th March – ‘Hidden Travels with an  Open Score’.  Held at HEART in Headingley, we played 10 pieces of different styles, including ‘Rove’ by Jasmine Morris (one of the pieces commissioned by CoMA for the festival) and pieces by two of our own members.

CoMA Leeds ensemble before their concert on 6th March 2024.
CoMA Leeds ensemble before their concert on 6th March 2024.
Photos of CoMA Leeds members  before their concert on 6th March 2024.  All photos courtesy of Tim Fearon.
Photos of CoMA Leeds members before their concert on 6th March 2024. All photos courtesy of Tim Fearon.

Our 2022 Festival concert

We gave a concert, on Wednesday 2nd March 2022 at HEART, a community centre in Leeds.  This was part of the Festival of Contemporary Music for All, with nine players under the direction of Elaine Levene.

We premiered Group Hug, written by Yshani Perinpanayagam. Yshani describes herself as “a multi-genre chamber musician, orchestral pianist and music director” and her piece illustrated the rather macabre process where a colony of bees deal with a hornet anxious to attack them.

Matthew Bellwood, a Leeds based writer and storyteller, joined us as the narrator for two items, both written by our own members: Plain Chanting was a setting of the poem Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold set to music by our conductor Elaine, and Curlew was a setting by Sue Watts of a poem by Gillian Clarke.  Matthew also narrated A Tale from the Frozen North, which led into A Chilly Reception, a theme by Henry Purcell arranged by Elaine.

A chorale by J S Bach, Ein feste Burg, led into a chorale-inspired piece When the Lord’s music met the Devil’s music by Phil Green, another one of our members.  Rondo for Africa by Andrew Melvin, and Blue Bottle (also by Yshani) completed the concert.

Our pre-concert run-through.
Our pre-concert run-through.
CoMA Leeds players
CoMA Leeds players

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