The Glasgow School of Art choir has launched a new project to address the under-representation of female composers in the music industry.

Named "Composeher", the initiative aims to commission, perform and promote seven new pieces of choral music created by leading contemporary composers.

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.

These are currently being worked on and will be premiered by the GSA Choir in Glasgow in May 2021. Although the project has received funding from the Creative Scotland Open Project Fund, there is a £4,000 gap in funding.

To fill the gap, the choir has launched its own Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.

The scale of the challenge for female composers was highlighted in the “Counting the Music Industry” report published in 2019, which reported that only 14% of the more than 12,000 writers represented by UK publishers were women.

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Dr Anna Beer, author of “Sounds and Sweet Airs: The Forgotten Women of Classical Music” has described the project a “triumphant counterblast” to forgotten women composers through history.

The seven commissioned composers are Dee Isaacs, Cecilia McDowall, Pippa Murphy, Sarah Rimkus, Ailie Robertson, Rebecca Rowe and Jane Stanley.

Rebecca Rowe: “I'm thrilled to be chosen as one of the commissioned composers for Composeher and to be writing for the GSA Choir. There is a tangible sense of fun in what they do, and, with this enthusiasm, it's going to be a wonderful project"

GSA Choir Musical Director, Jamie Sansbury, said: “Composeher will be an impressive showcase for some of the very best talent in choral music today and we hope it will encourage a wider, national discussion about the gender imbalance within the music industry.

“This is a really vital stage of the project as, without access to the poetry and written materials upon which they will be based, there will be no new compositions.

"We’re a voluntary, amateur ensemble with big ambitions, so we do need the support of the public to put together incredible projects like this.”