The Drum


Original Dishes Advert                                                                                                      

Title: Composer Commission Opportunity for Simmer Down festival 2014


 Simmer Down is offering a unique opportunity to an emerging, young composer in the West Midlands. The Original Dishes commission is a partnership with The Drum Arts centre. We would like to commission an original piece of music that will open the Simmer Down 2014 festival (20th July 2014) and mark the 20th Anniversary of the Drum Arts Centre.

Simmer Down is one of the fastest growing festivals in the UK with an anticipated audience of 15,000 in 2014. It is a unique, intercultural festival celebrating Birmingham’s cultural landscape with a programme including Reggae, Hip Hop, Bhangra, Qawwali, African, European, Kurdish and Much more.The Drum Arts Centre is the UKs Premier Intercultural Arts centre.


Commission Brief: Original Dishes

The proposed piece should represent and celebrate the intercultural nature of Birmingham and its rich creative, cultural mix.

This fantastic opportunity provides:

  • £1500 inclusive fee (composition, performers/musicians materials)
  • Rehearsal and staging costs.It will be the responsibility of the commissioned composer to manage this budget, contracting performers, musicians, collaborators and additional equipment if required. Rehearsal space can be provided at the Drum at no additional cost.
  • The cost of staging the commission (Stage PA, lighting) are included as part of the Simmer Down festival itself.
  • The commission should be between 10 – 15 minutes in length and feature a minimum of 3 performers.
  • The performance will be staged at the Simmer Down festival on 20th July 2014.
  • The commission is open to any young musician or collaborators age 18 – 25 who are resident in the West Midlands (Please Note: it’s not necessary that performers should meet this criteria or the age criteria).
  • The piece can involve collaborations with other art forms (dance, film etc).


Date/deadline Activity
31st May Deadline for submissions
3rd June Selection panel meet
9th June Announce Commission
4th July 1st Instalment paid to artists
20th July performance
Ongoing Project evaluation
28th July Final instalment


Assessment Criteria

  • Eligibility
  • How will it meet the brief? (above)
  • Artistic quality: Originality and musicianship/professional ability
  • How well it fits with the festival programme
  • Audience development potential: Will this reach new audiences for Simmer Down
  • Practicability
  • How to apply   
  • Vanessa Ryan-Smith Programming Assistant
  • If you have any questions regarding the commission please
  • The Drum Arts Centre
  • Martin Cox, Programme & Arts Manager 0121 333 2425
  •  144 Potters Lane B6 4UU
  • Birmingham
  • To apply, please return a completed application including 3 examples of your work to:
  • An application pack is available for download from For a word version please contact.









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