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five15: giving a voice to women composers across the UK

A special project from the London Oriana Choir


On 17 April 2016, the London Oriana Choir launched a ground-breaking new venture aimed at promoting new choral works by British women composers, a much neglected sector of the genre. Called five15, the choir plans to work with five female composers over the next five years to commission three works each per year, alongside other developmental initiatives.


Project Outline


The project’s aims are:


  • To help address the lack of recognition shown to women composers in the UK.

  • To promote 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 in particular young composers.


Activities over the five years will include:


  • Commissioning 15 new works from five emerging women composers 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 (two short-form a cappella pieces including a Christmas Carol, and one longer work of 15 minutes or more to include instrumental accompaniment).

  • 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 olds and performing the top three winning works.

  • Launching a high profile festival with other partners devoted to the works of women composers.

  • Developing and promoting a programme for workshops and training for the next generation of British women composers.


The choir began this project with the appointment of 35-year old Cheryl Frances-Hoad as its first five15 Composer in Residence. The choir gave the first performance of her first commission 'So true a fool is love'  at the project's launch concert at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich in July. The choir’s commitment will extend to offering complimentary tickets for 16-18 year old music students so that they can hear Cheryl’s work.


Find out more about the project and the latest news on the five15 website.


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