Song of the Hill residency opportunity

Grace Bailey

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Value of contract: £18,000 including expenses

Expected duration: 12 months 

Location: Doddington and Clee Hill, South Shropshire

Start date: As soon as possible

Project Lead Celia Gibb, Churchwarden

Steering Group: Celia Gibb; Rev’d Ashley Buck, Rector; Ewan Gibb, Honorary Treasurer and Jim Grevatte; Heritage Engagement Co-ordinator

Interviews: Arranged directly with candidates

Website:   Facebook: @StJohnsDoddington

  1. Job Description

We are seeking to contract an experienced Composer and Musician to play a crucial part in our Beacon on the Hill project and have the exciting role of composing a Song of the Hill.

In brief, the work will include:

    • working effectively with a team of professionals and other appointed contractors, staff, and volunteers 
    • bringing members of the community together to create a high quality artwork
    • providing a focus for the creation of a community choir which could be sustained beyond the project
    • bringing locals together for a memorable performance which celebrates the heritage and community of the area 
    • showing how the church can be the focus for community activity and performance
    • creating powerful audio/video which will help interpret the area’s heritage
    • engaging a wide audience (arts, nature, history) through combining arts and heritage
    • bringing partners together through shared performance, recording and exhibition
  1. The Project

St John’s Church in Doddington, South Shropshire was built 175 years ago for the local rural but industrial community and this project is designed to develop this GII listed building to become more relevant to and continue to play its part in the community as well as being a resource for visitors and schools and sustainable as an organisation and building. 

The church sits at 300m on Titterstone Clee Hill in an AONB, and in a scattered rural community with people from a range of backgrounds. The Hill has a unique industrial history stretching back 4000 years, and rich natural habitats; there is no currently no central point where people can find information about this important heritage. This project will add a permanent heritage interpretation area to serve visitors to the AONB and include a program of activities with the community and local schools (including a specially commissioned Song of the Hill), raising awareness of the history and heritage of the building, the community and the Hill. Alongside the activities, we will make repairs and improvements to the building so that it is accessible to all and has appropriate facilities for all the activities and opportunities we want to create.

We have appointing a Heritage Engagement Coordinator (HEC), Architect and Project Evaluator as well as this role. 

During the project we will ask the Songwriter in Residence to achieve the following outputs:

  1. The Commissioned Work and Outputs

The person appointed will be contracted to:

    1. Work with the local community to devise a piece for at least one performance in the church and one in the landscape to audiences. Audio and video recordings and stills photographs of performances and rehearsals should be released/broadcast on social media and website with the aim to gain wider regional publicity.
    2. Produce a separate edit of the work (perhaps episodic) which can be used in an audio guide and within church interpretation.
    3. During the project, to
      1. Develop and share skills for participants – writing, researching, performing and producing
      2. Work with the HEC to lead a walk with relevant groups and participants to explore possible spaces and stories
      3. Work with the HEC to recruit members for the choir and production team (including students from local schools and colleges)
      4. Celebrate the skills of local creatives – writers groups, am dram, musicians, drama/music students, artists
      5. Bring a wide range of local partners together through shared performance, recording and exhibition including local schools and colleges, and local interest organisations
      6. Create a piece that can be performed by a variety of groups after the end of the project
    4. Provide all material and data requested by the Project Evaluator for evaluation reports during & at the end of the contract period
  1. Inputs
    1. Existing material will be available for research, inspiration and incorporation into the song: local histories, scrapbooks, oral histories, songs, poetry 
    2. The Songwriter in Residence will have access to all activities and works 
    3. Contractors, appointed Professionals, other staff and volunteers will be expected to engage with the Songwriter in Residence where requested
    4. The PCC, Steering Group and project lead will be available for discussions.
  1. Contract Management
    1. The contract will be let by PCC of St John’s, Doddington and financially managed by Ewan Gibb Llb ACA, Hon Treasurer
    2. Start to be as early as possible after appointment
    3. The payment schedule will be as follows:
      1. 10% following initial agreement of schedule of work with Steering Group
      2. time to be worked flexibly to deliver the contract; invoices to be submitted on a monthly basis accompanied by a timesheet
      3. all expenses to be backed up with receipts and invoices; mileage to be charged at 45p/mile
      4. final 10% to be retained until all commissioned work & outputs complete 
  1. Skills & Person Specification
    1. Deviser/composer of performed choral works
    2. Experience of working in a heritage environment with the local community
    3. Experience of engaging with people from a range of backgrounds 
    4. Confident public speaker and ability to work on own initiative. 
    5. A team player with the drive and confidence to also work independently
    6. An eye for detail from seeing opportunities to making things happen
    7. Experience and track record of working on NLHF and other grants funded projects. 
    8. Competent IT skills; able to use all Microsoft packages 
  1. Award criteria
    1. Applicants are invited to visit St John’s 
    2. A proposal for undertaking the work should include 
      1. examples (including recordings) of previous works created in similar circumstances
      2. an outline proposal for how this work would be devised and performed
      3. examples of similar projects with contact details for people willing to provide references
    3. Proposals submitted will be assessed by the Steering Group against the following questions: 
      1. To what extent does the proposal demonstrate an understanding of the issues related to this brief?
      2. To what extent is the proposal appropriate to the requirements set out in this brief?
      3. What degree of experience does the bidder demonstrate in order to successfully complete the work?
  1. Procurement process

The procurement timetable will be:

    1. Proposal return deadline: 5th April
    2. Interviews: To be confirmed but no later than a fortnight after proposal return deadline
    3. St John’s Doddington Steering Group will notify bidders by email of our procurement decision as soon as possible, but no later than 1 week after interviews.

The church is open between 10am and 5pm every day; services usually take place on 1st and 3rd Sundays. If you wish to arrange a visit and/or have a conversation with Celia Gibb (Churchwarden and Project lead), please send a phone number by email to

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