An Artology, Sydney Opera House, Australian Youth Orchestra and ATYP 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 music. 

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, 8 young artists will work with Nicholas Vines renowned Australian composer, the Australian Youth Orchestra and a leading conductor to refine their compositions. The works are pre-recorded and then played to assist the ‘cue bell’ for audiences to take their seats at the Sydney Opera House.

Here are the selected composers to be played in the Sydney Opera House from February 2016. They are currently refining their compositions with composer Nicholas Vines and will be pre-recorded later this year. Meet the composers HERE.

Hamish Ander (Age 19), VIC
Sam Weller (Age 17), NSW
Elise Bergman (Age 13), VIC
Glenn Bussey (Age 19), VIC
Jordan Halaseh (Age 17), VIC
Cordelia Olivia To (Age 20), ACT
Alexander Voltz (Age 16), QLD
Alexander Lau (Age 14), NSW


Cool Australia : Classroom Activities

Artology in partnership with Cool Australia have created a range of teaching resources to support the Fanfare Competition. The resources have been created to complement classroom learning in support of the competition. Through a series of collaborative learning activities students build their aural and technical skills while exploring music as an art form through listening, composing and performing. Students are encouraged to apply their learning by creating their own composition to enter into the competition. Visit Cool Australia for the Fanfare learning activities.

atyp_logoAustralian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) : Mentoring Scholarship

ATYP’s contribution to the Fanfare Competition sees one lucky young composer receive 6 months’ worth of mentoring in sound design and the opportunity to write the score for ATYP’s 2015 production, The Trolleys. Working alongside one of the industry’s leading experts in the field, their music would be professionally recorded and used for each performance of the season, with the winner also receiving a $1,000 cash prize and will be selected by the judging committee.


Listen to the 2014 Fanfares HERE



The Fanfare competition sees the traditional Sydney Opera House cue bells replaced by 30 second fanfares composed by some of Australia’s most talented young musicians aged 12 to 21. The concept was created by London’s Royal Opera House in 2009 and has been brought to Australia by Artology in association with the Sydney Opera House and the Australian Youth Orchestra. The fanfares from the 2015 competition were previewed in March 2015 and will run at the Sydney Opera House until January 2016.   If you are visiting the Sydney Opera House you will hear:

Lachlan Penninkilamp: 4 March – 27 April 2015
Marcus Milton: 28 April – 2 June 2015
Paris Francis: 3 June – 8 July 2015
Josh Belperio: 9 July – 18 August 2015
Alexander Unikowski: 19 August – 29 September 2015
Luca Warburton: 30 September – 10 November 2105
John Rotar: 11 November – 30 December 2105
Yilan Yu: 31 December 2015 – 31 January 2016


Submission Details: 

Age Limit: 12-21 Years (on competition closing date)

Step 1 : Write your composition in Short Score form (send us your score using a few instruments that best suit your composition) indicating your instrumentation and send us your favourite four (4) bars in full orchestration.
Step 2 : Read the Terms and Conditions and complete the online Submission Form.  
Step 3 : Upload a score and recording of your work (PDF and MP3 files can be uploaded to your application).  If you have composed your work by hand please scan your score and create an sound file on an instrument of your choice and upload to your application.
The competition is now closed and will reopen in October 2015.

Step 4 : 8 Winners Announced on Tuesday 19 May 2015
Step 5 : Selected composers will participate in two workshop days to refine their compositions with composer Nicholas Vines. The workshops will be held in Sydney on Saturday 6 June and Saturday 11 July (venue TBC).
Step 6 : Rehearsal and recording day with Australian Youth Orchestra will be held in Sydney on Sunday 2 August (venue TBC).
Step 7 : 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. Send us your score using 3 or 4 instruments that best suit your composition.

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

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


2015 Competition now closed.


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