five15 Launch Video from London Oriana Choir on Vimeo.
Bravi to the London Oriana Choir. When it turned out that fewer than 4% of people questioned could name a composer who was female, they decided to do something to help redress the balance.
Their new project, five15, centres on the commissioning of 15 new works, aiming to give "a voice" to women composers. Cheryl Frances-Hoad is to be composer in residence. The project will launch formally with a concert on the Cutty Sark on 6 July.
It looks absolutely excellent and includes everything from a competition for young composers to a recording, the publication of an anthology, workshops and incentives for others to follow suit.
The website explains everything. Do take a look.
The project’s aims are:
To help address the lack of recognition shown to women composers in the UK.
To champion the work of British women composers so that they and their work are more widely recognised for the long term.
Through our performances and education/outreach work, to provide opportunities for women composers and mentoring for young composers.
Activities planned over the five years include:
Commissioning 15 new choral works from five emerging women composers of all ages over a period of five years which the choir will perform in the UK and abroad. Each composer will have the chance to work closely with the choir and Music Director over a period of a year and receive three paid commissions.
Publishing an anthology of work by British women composers, including all the works the choir commissions, to provide a useful resource for other choirs.
Organising a competition for 18-24 year old composers and performing the top three winning works.
Committing to including the work of women composers in its self-promoted concerts, wherever possible.
Developing and promoting a programme for workshops and training for the next generation of British women composers, including mentoring by an existing established female composer such as Cecilia McDowell and others.
Creating an album of all the commissioned items and other works by women composers.
Launching a high profile festival with other partners devoted to the works of women composers.
Encouraging other choirs in the UK to take the pledge to support the work of women composers and commit to performing more of their works.
The choir’s passion and dedication in the project is demonstrated by the fact that it is funding the commissions in the first year out of its existing funds but will be seeking partners and other forms of sponsorship to help with executing the other aspects of the plan.
Why do we care so much?