Get Creative & CoMA

Development opportunity for Scottish composers

Sound and Contemporary Music for All (CoMA), are delighted to announce that we will be offering an exciting new development opportunity for Scottish composers. This opportunity will involve writing a new piece for one of sound‘s two youth new music groups Get Creative Orchestra or Get Creative Ensemble, with the support of composer Rūta Vitkauskaitė.Get Creative is sound’s creative music making programme for young people in North East Scotland aged 8-18 years. Get Creative offers regular creative music-making workshops throughout the year, providing young people with the opportunity to gain musical skills, experience playing in an ensemble, and foster a wider understanding of creative music making with experienced musicians and composers.

Get Creative is split into two groups:
·       Creative Orchestra (participants aged 8-11)
·       Creative Ensemble (participants aged 12-18)

Opportunity description

Two emerging Scottish composers will be commissioned by sound and CoMA to write a new piece for mixed ensemble – one composer for the Creative Orchestra, and one composer for the Creative Ensemble. Applicants should specify their preferred group in the application form.

Creative Orchestra (participants aged 8-11)
·       Flexible score depending on the current composition of the group with scope for improvisation within the piece.
·       Very simple notation suitable for the level of the group which has a wide range of standards.
·       Length: around 3-4 minutes.

Creative Ensemble (participants aged 12-18)
·       Flexible score – e.g. high instruments, mid instruments, low instruments and percussion
·       Notation suitable for the mixed level of the group (currently grade 2-7).
·       Length: around 5-6 minutes.

The new works will be performed at Aberdeen’s Contemporary Music for All (CoMA) Festival on the 10th of March 2024, and following that may be used by other youth CoMA groups and possibly as a tool to aid new music education in schools.

The deadline for applications is the 13th of August at 11.59pm and you will hear back by the 28th of August.

The two chosen composers must be available to attend a Get Creative session on the 10th of September 2023 and it may be helpful for them to attend another session following that to work with their group on a first draft.

Key dates:

·       10th September 1-3pm: Get Creative session (both groups) sit-in
Where: Aberdeen
This session will allow the two chosen composers to sit in on the Get Creative sessions to help them get a better understanding of the context of the commission.

·       8th October 1-3pm: Get Creative Orchestra
Where: Aberdeen
Orchestra – Playing through of draft piece

·       12th November 1-3pm: Get Creative Orchestra and Ensemble
Where: Aberdeen
Orchestra – Delivery of final piece
Ensemble – Playing through of draft piece

·       4th February 1-3pm: Get Creative Ensemble
Where: Aberdeen
Ensemble – Delivery of final piece.

·       10th March: Get Creative sharing as part of CoMA Festival 2023
Where: Aberdeen
An informal sharing of music (including the commissioned pieces) from Creative Orchestra and Creative Ensemble


One-to-one sessions will be available with Rūta Vitkauskaitė between the first session and the delivery of draft pieces.


The successful candidates will be composers from Scotland. They can be at any stage in their career, however they should be able to demonstrate a number of years of compositional experience, and be able to articulate their development needs and how the opportunity would benefit them.

Please note that we are committed to working with and supporting composers from under-represented groups. Female, trans, gender-diverse, and ethnic minority composers, composers from a low-income background, and/or composers with a disability are encouraged to apply.

Commission fee:
·       £1,000 for the Get Creative Orchestra
·       £1,500 for the Get Creative Ensemble

How to apply:

To apply for the opportunity please complete this Google form:

If further information is required, please contact Clara-Jane Maunder on

Deadline for applications: 13th August 2023 at 11.59pm

We are offering a 2-day “grace period” until end of day on 15th August for applicants who can’t reach the deadline due to health challenges, having to care for family members, or other reasonable and/or unexpected circumstances. Please state your reason in the application form. We will inform you whether you are successful or not by the 28th of August 2023.

Selection process

As mentioned above, sound is committed to working with and supporting composers from under-represented sections of the population. To enable this, there is a two-stage application process: an initial selection is made, and then this is narrowed down in a second stage selection process. If you are a female or gender-minority composer, disabled, from an ethnic minority and/or from a low-income background, you can choose to self-select to be put forward automatically to the second round.

The selection panel will be made up of a representative(s) of Get Creative, CoMA and sound.

Notes to composers applying

Selection for new music opportunities is inherently subjective and the criteria used can differ from project to project. We are frequently over-subscribed and often the quality of applications is extremely high from a wide range of composers, which usually means making difficult decisions.

Reasons for selecting one composer over another are not always to do with skill level or experience. We may, for example, be looking for the right fit for us as an organisation at a particular point in time e.g. we may be looking to develop specific strands or activity or genres of music.

For development opportunities that happen in a group setting, it may be that we need to take into consideration the coherence of that group e.g., we may prefer to have composers of a similar experience-level. We thus sometimes end up turning down composers with more experience or skills, or giving opportunities to composers who we feel would benefit most from a particular opportunity at that stage in their career, and faced with difficult choices we may sometimes turn down composers who have already benefitted from a number of opportunities in the past.

We would however encourage composers to apply for any opportunities that interest them and for which they fit the specification, and not be discouraged if they are not selected for a particular opportunity, as it does not mean that they are not “good” enough. Please do continue to apply for any opportunity that interests you!

This opportunity is part of sound’s Get Creative and soundcreators programme focusing on nurturing creative talent.

Get Creative is funded by Aberdeen Endowments Trust, David and June Gordon Memorial Trust, Hugh Fraser Foundation, Aberdeen City Council and William Syson Foundation

soundcreators is funded by the PRS for Music Foundation, Creative Scotland, Fenton Arts Trust, Hugh Fraser Foundation, William Syson Foundation and Aberdeen City Council

CoMA is funded by Arts Council of England and Foyle Foundation

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