Composition Competitions

The resources and entries for all our composition competitions.

Sci-Fi composition project

In 2019 to 2020, our fourth annual composition project for secondary school pupils celebrates the genre of Sci-Fi. This year’s competition stimuli includes film and still images.
The compositions of all the nominated finalists will be adjudicated by composer and alumnus Benjamin Till and Fiona Bryce. Entries will be posted here from 1st January 2020. The awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday 21st September from 4.30 – 6.30 at our Kettering Road, Northampton Music Centre.

Film clips as a stimulus for composition:

  • The Predator (2’45”)
  • The Children of Dune (animation – 2’45”)
  • Star Citizen (Unofficial video game Trailer – 5′)
  • Star Citizen (Unofficial short video game trailer – 1’ 35”)
  • Moon Landing (4’ 40”)
  • Our Earth (documentary – 4’ 25”)
  • The Black Hole (3’ 20)
  • The Iron Giant (4’ 45”)

Art work as stimuli for composition:

  • Star Wars
  • The Portal
  • Alien
  • Neo-Kaiju
  • Sci-Fi landscape

Competition overview:

  • Sci-fi film and composing competition overview (PPT)

Gothic Horror composition project

In 2018 to 2019, our third annual composition project for secondary school pupils celebrates the rich heritage of Gothic Horror. This year’s competition stimuli includes literature, film and a still image.

The compositions of all the nominated finalists were adjudicated by composer and alumnus Benjamin Till and announced at an awards night on 15 January 2019.

Polar Regions composition project

In 2017 to 2018, our second Film Music composition project for secondary school pupils celebrates the 100 year anniversary of Shackleton’s expedition to the Antarctic and focuses on writing music to go with films representing the Polar Regions.

The compositions of all the nominated finalists were adjudicated by film music composer Barry Russell, who provided written feedback for each of the young composers. These are the winning entries in the 2018 competition.

Mud, Blood and Music composition project

Inspired by the Imperial War Museum’s commissioning of a contemporary film score by the composer Laura Rossi for the 90th anniversary of the making of the ‘Battle of the Somme’ film, entrants from three age categories were asked to select and compose a score to one of three archive clips provided by the Imperial War Museum.

Three film clips were offered as a stimulus for the competition:

Film 1. The King Visits His Armies in the Great Advance (IWM 192)

  • View the film
  • Context: King George V’s visit to the British forces on the Western Front, 8 to 15 August 1916. He tours parts of Second Army area and the Somme battlefield, while the battle is in progress.
  • Clip: Australian and New Zealand troops cheer the king. A visit to the wounded at a casualty clearing station.

Film 2. The Great German Retreat (IWM 131)

  • View the film
  • Context: Péronne shortly after its capture by the British, Western Front, 17 March 1917.
  • Clip: The Lincolnshire Regiment clear a road lined with damaged trees. The Royal Munster Fusiliers cross a damaged bridge over the Somme. The North Lancashire Regiment marches down a dirt road over the old battlefield. The burning houses of Péronne

Film 3. The Great German Retreat (IWM 131)

  • View the film
  • Context: Péronne shortly after its capture by the British, Western Front, 17 March 1917.
  • Clip: A French destroyed village. Captured German Trenches. A damaged bridge over the Somme.

Hear how Laura Rossi composed her score in this Vimeo clip.

"All children should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument"

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