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Winners of Expo Fanfare competition revealed

19 February 2015

Daniel Hall
Daniel Hall

Garrett Norton
Garrett Norton

Garrett Norton and Daniel Hall are the winners of our inaugural Fanfare Composition Competition and their pieces will be performed at the Music Education Expo on 13 March.

Students in two categories 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. We received some really fantastic entries, and the judges had a tricky time picking our two winners. Daniel Hall was the winner in the 18 and under section. Hall, 18, impressed the judges with his ‘sophisticated approach to harmonic rhythm and musical gesture’. Garrett Norton, 13, won the 16 and under group. The judges said: ‘At just 13 years of age, Garrett Norton has produced a sparkling flourish that balances an intuitive simplicity with a satisfyingly rich texture.’

Premieres of both pieces will be given on the second day of the Music Education Expo, which takes place at Barbican Exhibition Hall 2. The performances will take place on the balcony at 12.15pm.

The fanfares will be performed by young musicians from Music for Youth, and they will play on plastic instruments provided by Korg.


BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers’ Competition

23 January 2015

The BBC has announced the opening of the BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers’ Competition. Now in its seventeenth year, this annual competition is a cornerstone of the BBC Proms’ ongoing Inspire Scheme, which offers a platform to young composers to develop their skills, share their ideas with like-minded composers and get their music heard. In 2014 Inspire worked with over 550 young musicians, commissioned nine new works and performed and broadcast the music of 17 young composers.  

The competition is open to students aged 12 to 18 years. Entries will be judged by a panel of music professionals, including composers Fraser Trainer, Judith Weir, and Anna Meredith. The winning pieces will be performed by professional musicians for the Proms Plus Inspire concert and will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3; the winners will then be commissioned by the BBC  for a further work.  

The deadline for entries is 21 May


Holy Trinity CE Primary Academy receives private donation to fund recorder lessons

17 June 2015

A primary school in Wiltshire has received a donation from a local property company to fund music lessons for pupils.

Edington Station Yard, a property investment company founded in 1993 to buy the Station Yard building and now running an industrial development on the site, has pledged to donate £750 a year to Holy Trinity CE Primary Academy for the next three years.

A statement on the school’s website says: ‘We are enormously grateful to the board of Edington Station Yard, who are donating £750 each year for the next three years to support music making in our school.

‘This will ensure that we are able to continue to offer recorder lessons to every Year 3 child and also will help us fund visiting musicians to enrich our children’s experience of composition and performance.’

Mercedes Henning, headteacher at Holy Trinity CE Primary Academy, said recorder lessons at the school had previously been funded through the Wider Opportunities scheme, but funding had been withdrawn in 2013.

The school funded the lessons last year through its own budget, but had been considering asking parents to make a contribution. ‘Things would have been tighter, so we are enormously grateful for this donation,’ Henning said.

‘We very much prioritise a broad curriculum and music is really significant here.’

John Pepler, chairman of Edington Station Yard, said the company had decided to make the donation on the recommendation of two of its board members.

‘We are well aware that local schools are struggling and funding is being reduced,’ he said.

‘We are always looking to put something back into the community and this was an ideal opportunity to give the school some security and enable it to continue giving music lessons in the medium term.’

NCEM and OAE launch Baroque Strings resource

16 June 2015, Katy Wright

Cellist Ruth Alford explores the music of Bach
Cellist Ruth Alford explores the music of Bach

The National Centre of Early Music (NCEM) and players from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) have developed a free online teaching resource dedicated to baroque string playing.


Designed for students of grade 6 level and above and their teachers, Baroque Strings explores interpretation and technique in early 18th-century music for violin, viola and cello.

Written by Cathryn Dew (NCEM) and Cecelia Bruggemeyer (OAE), and featuring Helen Kruger (violin), Nicholas Logie (viola), Ruth Alford (cello) and Joe McHardy (harpsichord), Baroque Strings includes video clips of players performing music by Bach and Telemann, and talking about some of the challenges of its interpretation.

Movements from Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Violin, his Cello Suites and Telemann’s G major Concerto for Viola are used to explore techniques for creating a baroque sound on both historical and modern instruments. The resource covers issues including: choosing a tempo; understanding harmonic rhythm; Baroque gesture, phrasing and articulation; bowing; left-hand fingering; vibrato; and ornamentation.

Cherry Forbes, education director of the OAE, said: ‘Whether or not you have access to period instruments and bows, we hope the resource will provide an insight into some of the techniques used by today’s players of baroque music, and help inform your own decisions about performing this exciting and challenging repertoire.’

Baroque Strings began in 2013 as a project funded by Youth Music in which string players from York Arts Academy’s Symphony Orchestra played alongside members of the OAE and participated in a masterclass with Rachel Podger (who also led a workshop on baroque interpretation for string teachers).

Baroque Strings

Applications open for Allianz Junior Music Camp 2015

16 June 2015, Katy Wright

Applications are now open for the third Allianz Junior Music Camp.


10 pianists between eight and 14 years of age will be selected to participate in the camp, which will take place 18-24 November in Vienna. Selection will be based on ambition and desire to share the love for music with others as well as their technical and artistic skill.

Each student will participate in two rehearsal sessions per day with a professional piano teacher, concerts at local public schools, and a masterclass with Lang Lang. Sightseeing tours and activities are also arranged.

Transport, accommodation and catering for participants and one parent/guardian are provided by the Camp.


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