Composers' Course at JAM on the Marsh with Prospect Cottage and Derek Jarman in writing for opera.

Composers' Residency: Writing for Opera

1-13 July 2024

Applications are closed.

JAM is pleased to announce its second free residential course, Writing for Opera, for exciting, emerging composers. Join tutors Jonathan Dove, Paul Mealor and Shirley Thompson at the JAM on the Marsh festival in July 2024.


1-13 July 2024
Romney Marsh, Kent, UK
(Composers must be available for the entire course period)


JAM will offer four composers a residency at JAM on the Marsh, focusing on writing for opera. During the festival residency, each composer will write a 15-minute opera in collaboration with four opera singers and piano, for premiere on Saturday, 13 July 2024 as part of JAM on the Marsh. 

This free course gives access to tutoring and all the events at the festival. Within this vibrant multi-arts festival on the Kent coastline, composers will find themselves immersed in an exciting and intensive composition experience, composing during and having their music performed at the festival. A commission prize will be awarded to one composer.


2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the untimely death of Derek Jarman: artist, film maker, and gay rights activist, and longtime resident of Dungeness. The subject of the operas will focus on Jarman and include a day composing in Jarman’s famous Dungeness home, Prospect Cottage. Libretti will be written by celebrated and published Welsh writer and poet, Grahame Davies.


Composers who want to take their compositional skills to the next level, be immersed in an exciting festival and meet international performers.

Open to anyone aged 18 and over who are either born, living or studying in the UK.

Previous composition experience is required.


Each composer on the course will receive FREE tickets to every JAM on the Marsh festival concert and event. Composers will also have the unique opportunity to listen, interact and network with world-class artists.


One composer will be awarded the President’s Commission to write a new opera for performance at JAM on the Marsh 2025.


Though the course is free, successful applicants will be asked to pay £500 towards shared accommodation with the other composers for the entire festival. Composers will provide their own meals during their stay. A kitchen will be available for use.


JAM on the Marsh is committed to building a truly inclusive organisation and cultivating a culture of equality and diversity. We are an equal opportunity organisation, and we welcome the unique contributions that you can bring in terms of your education, opinions, culture, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity and expressions, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, colour, religion, disability, sexual orientation and beliefs.

TUTORS in Residency

All applicants for the Composers’ Residency must submit an application via
Free to apply.

Composition applicants will be required to submit PDFs of the following:

When you are accepted onto the course, you will be required to pay the £500 for accommodation for the duration of the festival.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed mid-February via Zoom. Final decision announced following interviews.


Friday, 26 January 2024, 5pm

If you have any questions, please email:

Previous Composers' Residency and Participants

“The ability to meet, make connections and build relationships with really influential musicians from across the UK (or, indeed, the world) was so invaluable.”