Composition competitions

Composition competitions

All of our previous composition competitions.

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.

Overall winner and KS5 winner

  • William Donaldson – Northampton School for Boys
KS5 highly commended
  • Dawn Shou – Northampton School for Girls
  • Hannah Jarvis – Northampton School for Girls
  • Alex Smith – Pitsford School

KS4 winner

  • Bethany Aveyard – Corby Business Academy
KS4 highly commended
  • Gracie Mayell – Corby Business Academy

KS3 winner

  • Dagan Houghton – Chenderit School
KS3 highly commended
  • Eve Fitzpatrick-Shaw – Chenderit School

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.

Overall competition winner

  • Sam Austin – Northampton School for Boys
KS5 joint winners
  • Sam Austin – Northampton School for Boys
  • Ellena Teal – Northampton School for Boys
KS5 highly commended
  • Ethan Brackley – Sponne School
  • Laura Morgan – Northampton School for Girls

KS4 winner

  • Joe Bray – Guilsborough School
KS4 highly commended
  • Evie Elliott – Manor School and Sports College
  • Louis Exall – Manor School and Sports College

KS3 winner

  • Daniel Heilbuth – Guilsborough School
KS3 highly commended
  • Nylissa Lay – Corby Business Academy
  • Nancy Ryan – Kettering Buccleuch Academy

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.

Overall competition winner 2017

  • Penelope Tollervey – Sponne School KS4 winner

KS3 Winning entry

Jak – Kettering Buccleuch Academy

KS4 Winning entry

Penelope Tollervey – Sponne School

KS5 Winning entry

Matt Kingston – Northampton School for Girls

KS3 Highly commended
  • Frankjel – Kettering Buccleuch Academy
  • Kayden – Kettering Buccleuch Academy
KS4 Highly commended
  • Dylan Wilson – Corby Business Academy
  • Emily Rogers – Sponne School
KS5 Highly commended
  • Susanna Gough – Sponne School
  • Susie Clark – Sponne School

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.

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