We are delighted to welcome our new Young Curators Coordinator, Sophie Cooper, to the hcmf// team. A local musician, teacher and gig organiser, Sophie has a long history with Yorkshire’s music scenes – and a vast knowledge of promoting and producing concerts on a DIY scale. Along with organising shows in Todmorden and beyond, Sophie runs Tor Festival, a yearly celebration of noise, drone and psychedelic music that brings together local and international music-makers. We are excited for her to be part of our work with emerging local artists.

Sophie gives us a bit of background on her history with music :

‘I’m an utter music obsessive. I’ve been playing instruments for as long as I remember which led onto me performing live in orchestras and various bands over the years. My favourite current projects are writing music and performing live with my band The Slowest Lift and performing other artists’ works on trombone, most recently in a micro opera based in Pendle Hill, Lancashire. I love how music can create communities and bring people together. I’m eternally grateful to have found lasting friendships across the world through the DIY experimental music scene and I play my part in this large network by organising shows in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. The new post with hcmf// brings together my interests in music and community and I’m very happy to be part of this brilliant team.’

hcmf//’s Young Curators initiative is aimed at developing talent and leadership amongst the music programmers, promoters and curators of the future. Over the duration of the project, a team of six Young Curators with specific interests in issues of diversity, gender equality, and social inclusion will be chosen to take part in a specially designed training programme. In addition to benefitting from the expertise and experience of the hcmf// team, the participants will also have the hugely valuable opportunity to develop new works that can be tested within the region, and presented formally to audiences at a future edition of the festival.