The GSA Choir launches public workshops with leading composers as part of Composeher project

Mark McIntyre GSA Choir

Events to be held at Glasgow Women’s Library will feature leading composers Dee Isaacs, Cecilia McDowall, Pippa Murphy, Ailie Robertson, Rebecca Rowe, and Jane Stanley.

The Glasgow School of Art Choir (GSA Choir) has announced a series of four in-person workshop events, beginning in October 2022, which will provide an opportunity for the public to meet with six of the seven leading composers involved in its Composeher project.

Launched in 2020, Composeher aims to shine a light on high quality choral music composed by women, in the context of continued under-representation of female composers across the music industry. In its most ambitious project to date, with backing from Creative Scotland, the GSA Choir has commissioned seven leading female composers from Scotland, England, Australia and the USA to create a set of entirely new choral works. The seven composers participating in Composeher are Dee Isaacs, Cecilia McDowall, Pippa Murphy, Sarah Rimkus, Ailie Robertson, Rebecca Rowe and Jane Stanley.

In the lead up to the GSA Choir’s première performance of commissioned works in Glasgow in summer 2023, the ensemble has launched a series of workshop events to be held at Glasgow Women’s Library between October 2022 and April 2023.

The workshop series will culminate in a Composeher discussion forum, also to be held at Glasgow Women’s Library, involving six of the participating composers in a wide-ranging panel discussion of the project and societal and cultural experience of female composers.

Free tickets for the workshops have been released on booking platform Eventbrite and are available for booking now. The planned workshops will run from 1.00pm – 3.00pm (doors opening at 12.30pm) at Glasgow Women’s Library, 23 Landressy St, G40 1BP, on the following dates:

  • Saturday, 22 October 2022, with Ailie Robertson and Pippa Murphy
  • Saturday, 19 November 2022, with Cecilia McDowall and Rebecca Rowe
  • Saturday, 21 January 2023, with Dee Isaacs and Jane Stanley
  • Saturday, 22 April, 2023, Composeher Discussion Forum with six composers

GSA Choir Musical Director, Jamie Sansbury, said: “The GSA Choir is thrilled to have begun rehearsing these seven fascinating new pieces of music, and we are so excited to share them with the world in May 2023. Ten years ago, our choir was established with the aim of bringing choral music to new and diverse audiences, so it is with great pleasure that we are holding these workshops at Glasgow Women’s Library. With research continuing to show a persistent lack of representation of female composers across the music industry, we are hopeful that our workshops will be an opportunity for people with an interest in choral music and composition to hear directly from leading women in their field about their experiences.

“Composeher is the most ambitious project we have undertaken as an ensemble and will be an impressive showcase of some of the best talent in choral composition today. It has been a privilege for us to work alongside these seven composers, and we hope the project will play a part in encouraging a wider discussion about the gender imbalance within the music industry.”

Composer Cecilia McDowall, who will participate in the second of the workshops, said: “I think it is wonderful that the GSA Choir has chosen to launch a project which supports relationships and connections with women composers and I am so pleased to be among this array of talented contemporary composers working on this important project.

“The upcoming workshops will be a wonderful opportunity to meet with composers with a keen interest in choral composition and to hear about their experiences of creating new music. The Composeher forum in April will be a particularly special occasion. I am so looking forward to learning about my fellow composers’ individual experiences of the project and to being able to discuss our newly created works with the audience just ahead of the live première in May. I know that this run of events will be a special chance to connect with younger people who may be considering a future in music. Hopefully through this project, we will be able to inspire young female musicians and encourage them to continue with their careers in musical performance and composition.”

Free tickets for the four workshops can be booked via our Eventbrite page, here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/composeher-29151521153

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