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Expo Fanfare Composition Competition winners announced

19 February 2015

Daniel Hall
Daniel Hall

Garrett Norton
Garrett Norton

Delegates attending this year’s Music Expo will be treated to a performance of two specially commissioned fanfares. The performances will take place on the balcony on Friday 13 March at 12.15pm precisely. 


 The composers, Daniel Hall and Garrett Norton, are the winners of a competition in which young composers were asked to were asked to submit a fanfare for up to eight instruments, comprising up to four B flat trumpets and up to four B flat tenor trombones. 

Daniel (18) Daniel is currently a student at Truro College, South West School of Music and a Composition Member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Garrett (13) composed his first piece in year 6, and a piece he wrote aged 10 won ‘highly commended’ in the Cambridge Composer of the Year under 14 category. 

The judges described Hall’s composition, Bolt, as “a beautifully judged work, showing a fine sense for the textural possibilities of brass ensemble and a sophisticated approach to harmonic rhythm and musical gesture. Most importantly, it delivers a firm emotional punch.” Of Norton’s Fanfara, they said  “…balances an intuitive simplicity with a satisfyingly rich texture. The irrepressible rhythmic impulse springs from a deft combining of four seemingly simple lines”. 

The fanfares will be performed by young musicians from Music for Youth, and they will play on plastic instruments provided by Korg. More details on the event from http://www.musiceducationexpo.co.uk/ 

Funding for young instrumentalists from Awards for Young Musicians

16 February 2015

AYM Awards winner, Aseye Olympio (violin) age 12
AYM Awards winner, Aseye Olympio (violin) age 12Edward Webb Photography

Awards for Young Musicians have just released details on this year's funding scheme.


If you are aged between five and seventeen you can apply;  AYM give awards of between £200 and £2,000, in total up to £100,000 per year; in 2014 they made Awards to 125 young musicians, some of whom they’ve been helping for several years, assisting with all the major costs of a young musician’s training, such as extra tuition, buying an instrument, travel and specialist courses. 

They support instrumentalists making music in any genre, and  key criteria are financial need (all applications are means-tested), and exceptional musical talent and potential. 

 Awards can help with costs including: 

  •  Buying or hiring a musical instrument 
  •  Music lessons 
  •  Weekend music schools 
  •  Music courses 
  •  Orchestra fees 
  •  Travel 

 The deadline for 2015 applications will be Friday 13 March 2015.  Further details from: http://www.a-y-m.org/how-we-help/awards/

New head of research for Guildhall

12 February 2015

The Guildhall School has announced that Dr Cormac Newark has been appointed as the School's new head of research.  


Dr. Cormac Newark studied music at the University of Oxford, music theory and analysis at King's College London, and orchestral conducting at the École Normale de Musique in Paris. Dr. Newark works mainly on nineteenth-century French and Italian opera and literature. Professor Helena Gaunt, vice principal and director of academic affairs said: ‘I am delighted that Dr. Cormac Newark will be joining the Guildhall School ... His own research focus fits immediately with our major commitment to opera ... His appointment also marks a new phase in our development of practice-based research, and an expansion of our doctoral programme’. 

Glyndebourne opens training scheme  for young singers

9 February 2015

Glyndebourne is now recruiting for a new scheme to help young singers pursue professional training.       


The Glyndebourne Academy is for singers with exceptional potential aged 16-26 whose circumstances, whether economic, social or geographic, have prevented them from following a traditional path towards a career.     

The scheme was devised in response to a seminar discussion about the lack of diversity amongst young opera singers in professional training at the 2008 conference, The Singers of Tomorrow, held at the National Opera Studio and attended by Glyndebourne’s vocal talent consultant, Mary King. 

Following the event, Mary and Glyndebourne’s education team sought to pinpoint the reasons for this lack of diversity and design a programme which might help.  Contributing factors included the patchiness of music  education provision in schools, a decline in school singing outside the curriculum, cuts to local music services, making subsidy for individual singing lessons harder to come by, and the intensity of competition for conservatoire places. 

 Mary King, artistic director of Glyndebourne Academy, said: ‘Operatic voices don’t spring up ready-made. If you go to a fine school with a great music department and your interest is awakened and recognised early, then all can be well. But if not, and you don’t discover your potential until the age of 15 or 16, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do. With no access to good musical education and advice, it is difficult for a late starter to really compete at conservatoire entrance-stage. We wondered; could we identify a small group of exceptionally talented singers who had fallen through the gaps and take them through a process that would make a difference?’. 

 A pilot run of the programme in 2012 provided a select number of young singers, several of whom were entirely new to opera, with intensive instruction in operatic vocal technique and performance. More than half of the participants have moved on to further training. 

 The deadline for applications to Glyndebourne Academy is Monday 16 February 2015. Visit glyndebourne.com for further information.

Courses for young choristers, organists and instrumentalists with the RSCM

5 February 2015

As in previous years, the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) is running a range of courses for young people: a Spring Course for Young People at Sneaton Castle Centre near Whitby, North Yorkshire during half-term in May; three days of intensive training, led by RSCM director Andrew Reid, aimed particularly to help those working towards awards in the RSCM’s Voice for Life singing programme; and the annual Summer Course for Young People during the summer holidays. This course will be directed by Tansy Castledine, who led her school choir to victory in the BBC Songs of Praise Senior School Choir of the Year competition.  


Parallel Cathedral Choral Courses for boys and girls will take place in Durham Cathedral in mid-August. The RSCM is also hosting a series of Singing Breaks for Adults throughout the year in Cornwall, Salisbury and Herefordshire, a chance for worship, training and recreation in picturesque settings.  

This national programme is supplemented by numerous short workshops and sessions organised by RSCM volunteers in the UK and abroad.  

 For further information including booking details, terms and conditions go to www.rscm.com/courses.


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