Contact details and About Me

Jocelyn Lavin

22a Smithy Bridge Road, Littleborough OL15 8QF

Tel: 07734-101942 or 01706-374005


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Read my choir blog: 2nd Altos Like the Bottom Parts

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About me

What kind of work do I do?

Mainly I create bespoke musical arrangements. By this, I mean that I take a piece of music composed for a specific group of musicians, and arrange it so that it can be performed by a different group. For example, I take a piece of ballet music originally written for a full orchestra, and arrange it for a double reed ensemble consisting of nothing but oboes and bassoons.

What makes me unique?

Most websites selling musical arrangements only cater for standard groupings, and very few of them allow clients to commission their own bespoke arrangements. Not only can I arrange anything you like for any grouping you like (however unusual), I can easily amend any of the arrangements in my portfolio if you see one that you like but it's not quite feasible for your group.

What kind of clients do I have?

Lots of the arrangements I've done so far have been for my own band, but many have been commissioned by friends and colleagues (often for weddings), and others still have been done for schools, male voice choirs, brass bands and many other groups.

How much do I charge?

My standard rate for bespoke work is £30 per hour, whatever the nature of the work. Most new arrangements take me about four hours on average, but I can estimate at the outset how long a given commission should take, and I will not charge you extra if my estimate turns out to be incorrect after we have agreed the price. If you wish me to amend one of my already-finished arrangements, the hourly rate is the same, but the time taken would be shorter. If you need a minor amendment to an arrangement after you’ve bought it (e.g. you realise you need the horn part to be in E flat rather than F) I will do that free of charge.

If you require a commission at very short notice, I will charge a higher hourly rate. I will also charge extra if you require me to print the music for you, or issue a CD. However, I will confirm the cost with you before I start.

What payment methods do I accept?

All my available products are sold via E-junkie, which takes payment via PayPal. If you have never used PayPal before, you will be given the option to sign up. The service is secure and reliable and requires only a debit or credit card. If you prefer to pay me by cash, cheque or BACS, that can be arranged on request.

If you are a new client commissioning a bespoke arrangement, I will require payment in full before I deliver the work (again, this will be via E-junkie and PayPal); however, if you are dissatisfied with my work, I will give a full refund. If you are a repeat client, I will invoice you, and full payment will be due thirty days after the invoice date. The invoice will be sent with the finished product.

Do I provide any other services?

Lots! And not all of them are musical. Other services that can be supplied remotely:

• musical transcriptions (i.e. I write out the music exactly as it is on a particular recording)

• backing tracks created for any song

• piano accompaniments recorded

• bespoke Excel spreadsheet work

Services which involve face to face interaction (I'm based near Manchester, UK):

• aural and sight reading crash courses

• music theory lessons

• piano accompaniment for exams or concerts

• a cappella vocal group available for weddings etc.

• tuition in flute, oboe, piano, singing

• tuition for music and maths GCSE and A level

• 1:1 computer training, on your own computer

How long have I been in business?

I have been creating musical arrangements since 1984, but I only started selling them a few years ago.

Where am I located?

Manchester, UK.

Who else works with me?

No-one - I do everything myself.

What are my characteristics?

I’m really good at:

  1. problem solving

  2. thinking outside the box

  3. making connections between my own areas of expertise

  4. perseverance

  5. attention to detail

Also, I’m a quick learner (self-taught in most cases), and I’m calm, patient and reliable.

What else can I tell you about myself?

I attended Chetham’s School of Music and University College London. My degree is in mathematics and astronomy, and I was a maths and music teacher for twenty years. Since September 2007 I have delivered a weekly "silver surfers" class at my local library - this is a voluntary role which involves teaching internet-related skills to elderly people.

Music is my main leisure interest. These days it mainly involves singing: I sing with the Hallé Choir in Manchester, and also solo and in a pop group which I run (Pleiades). Occasionally I play piano or oboe too.

Other than music, I am fanatical about football (I had a season ticket for Manchester United until I had to relinquish it due to being broke), and a few years ago I took up sailing, and have since gained several RYA qualifications. I also spend far too many hours playing World of Warcraft (an online roleplaying computer game), and reading, particularly Harry Potter fanfiction.

Oh, and there’s been a BBC radio programme about me (you can download it here) and a Guardian article.