The London Oriana Choir has appointed Naomi Belshaw as Project Manager of its pioneering five15 programme, overseeing the initiative through to its completion. Five15 is a project created by the choir to support and champion women composers through commissioning new works, concert programming, workshops, recordings and more, aiming to create a paradigm shift in people’s perceptions of a typical composer.
With this appointment, Naomi brings with her in-depth knowledge of funding, copyright, music royalties, publishing marketing and PR having worked with composers from across the UK over the last decade. She will be taking up this position as one of her key projects within her freelance consultancy, Naomi Belshaw Consultancy, accompanying her work with composers Joseph Phibbs, Steven Daverson, Garry DW Judd, Ben Lunn and Pianist Tom Kimura. This is also alongside her part-time position at WildKat PR as PR Executive and PR Manager.
The London Oriana Choir launched five15 in April 2016 as a five-year programme promoting women composers through commissioning fifteen new works, concert programming, workshops, recordings and other activities. Cheryl Frances-Hoad was the first composer in residence, Rebecca Dale the second and Jessica Curry the third. Anna Disley-Simpson is the current composer in residence as winner of the five15 Young Composers Competition in 2019.
The next steps for the programme will see the appointment of a final year composer and the commissioning of three more works. Then, the culmination of the project will be the curation of a festival celebrating the key commissions from all five resident composers, workshops and masterclass sessions to inspire a new generation, the launching of an anthology of the 15 commissioned works and a specially recorded album. As a supporter of the PRS Foundation Keychange programme, the London Oriana Choir has already achieved 50:50 gender balance programming and will be looking to see what might follow on from the original aims of the five15 programme.
Naomi Belshaw commented: “I am really excited to take on the role of managing the five15 London Oriana Choir programme. I was drawn to position because of its ambition to redress the imbalance in profile of woman composers in choral music. Having worked at PRS for Music as the Classical Account Manager and at the PRS Foundation overseeing the Women Make Music Fund and being involved in the launch of Keychange I fully understand the power of positive action initiatives in driving changes in perception and opportunity and am excited to help create a lasting legacy with this initiative. I also felt this management opportunity fits so perfectly with the new consultancy I have set up to support composers and artists in career strategy.”
Dominic Ellis-Peckham, Musical Director of the London Oriana Choir said: “We are delighted to welcome someone of Naomi’s calibre into our project. We are very proud of what five15 has achieved so far but believe she will add an extra dimension to our activities to ensure we maximise our plans for the final stages. Her extensive knowledge, impressive experience and commitment to helping composers make the most of their potential are qualities that will help us achieve our goals.”
Photo credit: Tony Briggs