Fanfare for composer

Bundaberg News Mail: by 11th Jun 2014 12:31 PM

FUTURE performances and events at the Sydney Opera House will have a Bundaberg connection after a former Shalom College student was selected to write a piece of music to replace the cue bells, which call patrons to their seats.

Now in his second year studying music at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, John Rotar 19, is one of eight young composers who won the country’s first Fanfare competition, giving the aspiring composers the opportunity to transform the traditional Sydney Opera House cue bells.

Over 120 entries were submitted from across Australia, with the Sydney Opera House Fanfare competition inviting young Australians aged 12 to 21 to submit a 30-second piece of music – a fanfare.

Mr Rotar, who began composing music when he was 10, said he’d entered numerous competitions but never really expected to win.

“I’d seen this competition online but I didn’t think about it again, but then my aunty gave me a newspaper clipping about it and I decide to give it a go,” he said.

“I actually wrote the piece quite quickly.”

Mr Rotar said he was thrilled when he found out he had been selected, giving him the opportunity to work on a piece of music that would be heard by so many people.

Mr Rotar met with the seven other composers in Sydney at the weekend to workshop their compositions with the Australian Youth Orchestra, who will record the piece, and renowned Australian composer Nicholas Vines.

“I’d never been to the Sydney Opera House before so it was very exciting,” Mr Rotar said.

“As a young composer it’s not every day that you have a chance to hear your work played out loud, let alone by such great musicians like the Australian Youth Orchestra or in such a legendary place like the Sydney Opera House.”

Mr Vines said he was delighted to be working with Mr Rotar and such a diverse group of young Australians from across the country and that this experience would certainly open up many more opportunities.

“With over 120 entrants received this competition has clearly caused a lot of excitement and it demonstrates that there can never be too much institutional support for classical composition,” he said.

The composition is expected to be ringing out in the Opera House’s Western Foyers in September.

Mr Rotar, who has had a number of his compositions played by the Bundaberg Youth Orchestra, said Bundaberg provided inspiring opportunities for young musicians.

“My experience with the Bundaberg Youth Orchestra was invaluable for learning about music,” he said.