Montrose Composers’ Club is a group of like-minded composers based in East Kent who meet regularly to try out new ideas, perform their music and promote it to the wider world.

The MCC, founded in September 2015, comprises of local composers Aidan Shepherd, Ian Fleming, Matthew Brown, Anna Braithwaite and Phil Self. Their eclectic careers have lent their writing flavours of folk, jazz, cabaret and electronics, allowing them to create genre-defying sounds for savvy ears.

The MCC are currently working towards a busy autumn/winter ‘19 season of performances. For more details watch this space, follow us on social media or subscribe to our mailing list to receive up to date information in our occasional news letters.










Saturday 11th May 2019

2pm - 4.30pm
Customs House, Folkestone Harbour Arm, Kent. 

The Montrose Composers' Club is collaborating with the Sacconi Quartet to present new works by the MCC alongside quartets by Haydn, Grieg and Korngold. Come and enjoy an eclectic mix of entertaining chamber music played by this internationally renown quartet, in the atmospheric surroundings of Customs House, ahead of the 12th annual Sacconi festival which takes place across the town from the 17th-19th May. 

"A beautiful blend of sound ... highly engaging" THE TIMES

"Great power and sweetness ... intimate closeness." SPECTATOR


The Montrose Composers' Club are a collective of creative Kentish musicians who meet to play each other's music and work collaboratively on projects ranging from progressive folk to verbatim opera to creating real-time graphic scores with visual artists and co-composed music for regional orchestras.

For this performance they presented their latest collection of new works, entitled 'MCCV'. There was boundary-stretching, expectation-challenging music using loops, field recordings, wine glasses and an excessive amount of accordions!



For their fourth appearance at the annual experimental music festival ‘Profound Sound’ the group performed at intimate venue the Brewery Tap to a growing audience of loyal followers. Anna Braithwaite, Phil Self and Aidan Shepherd were joined by MCC associate Stuart Hughes, for a forty five minute set of free improvisation against the backdrop of Shred It! Collectives’ sound responsive light sculpture ‘Transpose’. For a taster, see a the short video below.

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During summer 2018 the MCC jointly wrote a piece for orchestra through a series of workshops and improvisations which was then workshopped by the City of Rochester Symphony Orchestra in January 2019. During this project the MCC began their exploration into how to write together as a group and looked at defining what their group style was as well as looking at their strengths as individuals.

Watch this space for opportunities to hear the piece played in public soon or sign up to our newsletter.


The Montrosers with associate member, Stuart Hughes and artist Helen Lindon ran a four hour drop in workshop for families exploring graphic scores and improvisation on January 26th 2019. The participants were encouraged to draw what they could hear and then create their own graphic scores to be played by members of the MCC or a small orchestra of participants on simple instruments.

Phil Self and Aidan Shepherd interpret a graphic score created by a budding young composer.

Participants create their own graphic scores then play them as part of an improvisors band.

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The Montrose Composers Club presented their fourth concert at Profound Sound Festival 2018. Each member wrote a piece to be performed against the backdrop of 15 tape cassette players all playing specially prepared tape loops. These pieces were performed for the first time at MCCIV, on Sunday 11th February 2018 in Folkestone and then again at the experimental music night,  in Canterbury, MCCIV also saw collaborations with sound artist Liz Hayward and action artist Helen Lindon along with performances by MCC regulars Flo Peycelon (violin), Karen Jolliffe (violin), Sarah Boxall (cello) and new collaborators Nicola Burnett Smith (clarinet/vocals) and Craig Gell (percussion).

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On Saturday 27th January 2018 MCC members Phil Self and Anna Braithwaite invited the folk of Folkestone to try something new for 2018 and make some music, with the Montrose Composers’ Club.

Participants created their own sounds in Phil' s ‘mini studio’ using a granular processing app, samples and live instruments. Elsewhere Anna help people create and record their own tape cassette loops, whilst regular MCC collaborators Helen Lindon and Stewart Hughes encouraged children, OAPs and everyone in-between to create a large scale graphic score. At intervals the whole group would get together to form an improved orchestra which would play the graphic score 'live'. 



The MCC are excited to be part of a new event which coincides with the Folkestone Triennial called 'Club Night'. Between 7-9pm on October 5th 2017 local artistic clubs and associations, who usually meet privately, will hold open meetings in shop windows on Folkestone's Old High Street. Passers by and those on the map led tour of the event can enjoy listening to the MCC rehearse new works  and give feedback or even join in! We hope to see you there.



CISA Local Album Launch

'Chinese Whispers' (concept by Anna Braithwaite, graphic score by Myah Chun, created and played by Montrose Composers' Club) has been selected for a new vinyl album of experimental music by creators based in Kent. The group played new compositions and improvisations for the album launch at the infamous 'Free Range' night on Nov. 16th 2017.


The MCC have recorded five pieces of original music from their concert MCCIII. Watch this space for more details of how to obtain a copy.


SATURDAY 3RD jUNE 2017 at Turner Contemporary, Margate.

As part of a festival of experimental music the MCC and special guests Helen Lindon and Sam Bailey performed in the beautiful surroundings of the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate, Kent.


Friday 3rd Feb. 2017 at the brewery tap, 53 Tontine St, Folkestone CT20 1JR.

The MCC returned to the Profound Sound festival with more weird and wonderful new sounds for string quartet, piano, accordion and a host of other instruments and objects. They played contemporary classical music with a casual attitude towards convention at a festival where everyone is welcome!


"As part of ongoing writing experiments with other members of the Montrose Composers' Club I composed a piece with Aidan Shepherd. He gave the piece a name, 'The Wooden Knight' and wrote the first eight bars for solo voice. I then added the next eight bars but only revealed the last two to Aidan. He then added to those without knowing what came before, a compositional game of 'head, body, legs'. We did not discuss the piece at all during this process. I had no idea whether it would be a revelation or disaster but for me as a composer and performer it certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone." Anna Braithwaite


The MCC are continuing to explore 'games' as an inspiration for new music, in a collaboration with graphic artist Myah Chun Grierson and a local artist Helen Lindon. Using the  idea of a Chinese whisper the project began with a piece of text, this inspired a Graphic score by Myah, an improvisation by the MCC and a live piece of art by Helen. Everyone agreed that the live are created behind the players really give a unique energy to the performance. We hope to continue work on this project throughout 2017.

Helen Lindon, Charcoal on Arches paper, 110cm x 110cm, 5 mins

Helen Lindon, Charcoal on Arches paper, 110cm x 110cm, 5 mins

MCC @ Free Range

Thursday 2nd Feb. 2017 at Water Lane Coffeehouse, Water Lane, off Stour Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2NQ. 8.30PM

The MCC were delighted to be asked to curate an evening of new music at the ever popular Free Range series in Canterbury. There were premieres of new works as well as highlights from MCCII written for string quartet, piano, accordion and a host of other instruments and objects. Free Range is an award-wining series of experimental music, film and poetry events which happen at 8.30pm every Thursday from October to March at Water Lane Coffeehouse in Canterbury, Kent. All events are free entry.


The club's second concert MCCII took place on October 2nd 2016 in The Waiting Room on Folkestone Harbour.

MCCII saw the group joined by a string players (Flo Peycelon - Violin, Karen Jolliffe - Violin, Matt Brown - Viola and Sarah Boxall - Cello) for a performance of seven new pieces for string quartet, voice, hand bells and a host of other instruments. This informal performance was part of the Folkestone Fun Palace festival and included a chance for the audience to perform with the MCC and improvise some new music.


MCC member, Aidan Shepherd, launched a new album of his work with band Arlet entitled 'Big Red Sun' in March 2016. To purchase a copy of the beautiful limited edition cd or to catch them performing live, click here.

Please listen to a taster from the new album below.


The debut concert from the MCC on 12th February 2016 formed part of the 'Profound Sound' festival, a weekend of new music and sound art (co-curated by Folkestone Quarterhouse and Folkestone Fringe), which ran from 12th-14th February in Folkestone, Kent.

During this sold out event the five-strong collective premiered seven new pieces written and performed by the members and their special guests.

Images of MCCI by


The first movement of Anna Braithwaite's 'Pent House Music'  Performers: Vocals - Anna Braithwaite Viola - Matthew Brown Mandolin - Phil Self Electric Bass - Aidan Shepherd Drum - Sarah Boxall Keyboard - Ian Flemming

'Fait Accompli' by Anna Braithwaite.

fait accompli /, feɪt əˈkɒmpli,French fɛt akɔ̃pli/ noun noun: fait accompli; plural noun: faits accomplis A thing that has already happened or been decided before those affected hear about it, leaving them with no option but to accept it.

cello - Sarah Boxall, tenor saxophone - Phil Holmes, piano - Rhys Hodgson

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