APO teams up with Reading Youth Orchestra for Making Music’s Adopt a Music Creator project

On Sunday last, Andrew and Chico from APO joined Mel and Becky from Reading Youth Orchestra (though of course they’re also part of APO as assistant MD and string principal, respectively!) at Making Music‘s offices in London, for the launch event for this year’s Adopt a Music Creator project. After successfully applying together for the collaborate pathway, APO and RYO have been paired with composer Caitlin Harrison and mentor Fraser Trainer.

Since 1935, Making Music has supported and championed leisure-time music groups across the UK with practical services, artistic development opportunities and by providing a collective voice for its members. Representing over 3,800 groups of around 220,000 musicians of all types, genres and abilities, Making Music helps them with the practicalities of running their group so they can get on with making music.

The Adopt a Music Creator project brings together music groups and music creators to collaborate on creating a brand new piece of music. The project pairs leisure-time music groups with a music creator for a year, culminating in a premiere performance, a recording and a radio broadcast. Indeed, this week sees the broadcast of pieces from the last iteration of the project, each evening after BBC Radio 3’s evening concert. Anyone at APO’s Music of Desire concert in January 2019 will remember composer Laura Shipsey‘s wonderful piece Samara. Her work as part of the Adopt a Music Creator Project, Of Far Flung Skies, performed by the City of Bristol Band, will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 sometime after 9pm on Wednesday 19th January.

The music creator has the opportunity to get to know a performing group (or groups, in this case) and write a piece especially for them, while the groups have the chance to contribute to the creation of new works by some of the UK’s most promising music creators.

Adopt a Music Creator is run by Making Music in partnership with Sound and Music, and is funded by the PRS Foundation and the Philip & Dorothy Green Music Trust.

Caitlin Harrison, with whom APO and Reading Youth Orchestra have been paired in Making Music’s Adopt a Music Creator project

After the pairing of APO/RYO and Caitlin was revealed on Sunday, we had lots of productive initial discussions about the way ahead. Caitlin will be visiting APO and RYO rehearsals in the coming weeks to meet the musicians. Her brief is to write a piece to be performed at APO’s 20th anniversary concert, likely to be on Saturday 29th October, 2022. Reading Youth Orchestra will join us for that performance. Part of Caitlin’s brief is to create a work with parts suited to both APO and RYO’s players. Quite what format the piece and performance will take is still to be decided, with workshops and possibly other performances through the year, fuelling the create process.

We’re really pleased to be part of the project, collaborating with one of (if not the) oldest youth orchestra in the country, of which APO music director and string principal Chico are alumni. And after meeting her on Sunday, we’re delighted to have been paired with Caitlin. We’re looking forward to a fruitful partnership and adding to the nearly 30 pieces and 5 hours of new music performed by APO over the last 20 years.