An Artology, Sydney Opera House and Australian Youth Orchestra Project

Can you create an attention-grabbing 30 second piece of music? Are you aged between 12 – 21 years?

If you are interested in writing music then enter the Fanfare competition and fill the Sydney Opera House with your composition. You will work with the Australian Youth Orchestra, a leading conductor and renowned Australian composer, Nicholas Vines!


The competition is open to Australians aged 12 to 21 years to write a short 30 second attention-grabbing piece of music. Selected by a judging panel, eight young artists will have their works orchestrated and recorded. These young artists will work with Nicholas Vines renowned Australian composer, the Australian Youth Orchestra and a leading conductor to refine their works. The works are recorded and then played as the ‘bell cue’ for audiences to take their seats at the Sydney Opera House.  Let your imagination run wild!

Click here to go to the photo library of the first Workshop.

The winners for the 2014 Fanfare Competition are:

Lachlan Penninkilampi (NSW); work title  ‘Fanfare 1‘; Age 16
John Rotar (Qld); work title ‘Skyscrapers; A Fanfare‘; Age 19
Josh Belperio (SA); work title ‘Fanfare for the less common man‘; Age 19
Alexander Unikowski (ACT); work title ‘Fanfare pour un monde unifie‘; Age 20
Luca Warburton (NSW); work title ‘Fanfare‘; Age 14
Marcus Milton (NSW); work title ‘Fanfare‘; Age 15
Paris Francis (NSW); work title ‘Rebellion’s Rise‘; Age 13
Yilan Yu (NSW); work title ‘Arrival of the Queen of Mars‘; Age 13

Meet the winners of this year’s Fanfare Competition.

Paris Francis, age 13 says, “I’m so excited to be selected as a winner given that there were so many older and more experienced composers who entered the competition. I composed my fanfare piece thinking about trumpets that I had heard playing in Westminster Abby – they were so loud and attention seeking.”

Details for the competition are below:

Age limit: 12 – 21 years of age
Applications now closed.

What you need to do:

Step 1 : Write your composition in Short Score form, indicating your instrumentation and send us your favourite four (4) bars in full orchestration.
Step 2 : Complete the online application form – applications now closed.
Step 3 : Upload a digital file of your work (PDF version only).  If you have composed your work by hand please scan and upload the file.
Submit by Monday 26 May 2014

Step 4 : 8 Winners Announced on Monday 2 June 2014
Step 5 : Day workshop with composer Nicholas Vines (held in Sydney)
Step 6 : Day rehearsal with Australian Youth Orchestra (held in Sydney)
Step 7 : Works recorded by Australian Youth Orchestra (held in Sydney)
Step 8 : Works broadcast at the Sydney Opera House

What is a fanfare?

A fanfare is normally a relatively short piece of music that is typically played by trumpets, cornet, french horns, or other brass instruments, often accompanied by percussion. It is usually intended for important social purposes, such as ceremonial events involving important people or animals, as exclamations of significant activities during an event (such as with introductions and closings), or to precede announcements with the purpose of gaining the attention of the audience. Similarly, musical works themselves often begin, transition, or end with fanfares or fanfare-like themes. The term is also used symbolically, such as to describe occasions that are greatly publicised, even when no music is involved.

Further Listening

Aaron Copland:  Fanfare For The Common Man
Bill Conti: Fanfare For Rocky (Rocky)
Nigel Westlake: Cudmirrah fanfare : for symphony orchestra  (1987)
Liza Lim: Flying banner : full orchestra (2005)

What is a Short Score?

A short score is a reduction of a work for many instruments to just a few staves. Rather than composing directly in full score, many composers work out some type of short score while they are composing and later expand the complete orchestration.

Australian Youth Orchestra Instrumentation

1 flute, 1 oboe, 1 clarinet or saxophone, 1 bassoon, 2 trumpets, 2 french horns, 1 trombone, strings (8 Violin 1, 6 Violin 2,  4 Viola, 3 Cello, 2 Bass), timpani, percussion (no more than 2 players), electronics or recorded sound. We encourage you to call us if you have any queries regarding instrumentation in particular percussion and electronics (electronics would be accommodated in the final recording process).

Percussion List: 2 Bongos, Bell Tree, Bass drum, Castanets, Snare Drum, Suspended cymbals (China, standard), Glockenspiel, Marimba, Tambourine, Tenor Drum, Triangle, Tom-toms (Please note: 2 players only) 

Further information contact Artology:

Phone: 02 8007 7322

Fanfare competition is supported by:


ARTOLOGY_135            SOH_Secondary_MONO_135            AYO_135             SG_135


Fanfare. A Learning and Participation project originally created by Royal Opera House, London.


Applications now closed.