Imagine hearing your music played by the Australian Youth Orchestra, Queensland Youth Orchestras or the Sydney Youth Orchestras and broadcast at professional venues around Australia! 

The Fanfare Competition is open to young people aged 12-21 years, to compose a 30-second composition and submit a score and recording online. The competition is looking for compositions that have ‘something to say’ and draw attention. You don’t need to have a strong musical background – your work just needs to draw attention for the intended use of cueing audiences to take their seats at performance venues.

Selected participants will workshop their Fanfares with mentor composers Nicholas Vines, Lyle Chan, Jessica Wells and Chrysoulla Markoulli to develop ideas and will either be selected for:

  1. Australian Youth Orchestra live recording session
  2. Sydney Youth Orchestras concert
  3. Queensland Youth Orchestras concert
  4. Adelaide Youth Orchestras workshop

Additional opportunities: Two people selected to either create the sound design for an Australian Theatre for Young People or create a soundscape for tabletop gaming app Syrinscape.

Submissions for the Fanfare Competition open in February 2022. Find out more on what you need how to prepare, here.

Hear from our 2020 Fanfare composers.


Selected your instrumentation from the following list:

1 flute, 1 oboe, 1 clarinet or saxophone, 1 bassoon, 2 trumpets (Bb or C), 2 french horns, 1 trombone, strings (8 violin 1, 6 violin 2, 4 viola, 3 cello, 2 bass), timpani (sizes 32, 29, 26 & 23), percussion (no more than 2 players), electronics or recorded sound. We encourage you to contact us if you have any queries regarding instrumentation in particular percussion.

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)


What is a fanfare? 

A fanfare is a short piece of music typically played by brass instruments and  percussion with the purpose of gaining the attention of the audience. Artology in partnership with Cool Australia have developed a series of free student and teacher resources to assist with your composition.

What is a short score?

A short score is a reduction of a work. 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. To create your short score we suggest using 3 or 4 instruments that best suit your composition.

Listen to past Fanfare entries.


Each year one Fanfare participant is selected to work with the Australian Theatre for Youth People and Steve Francis to create the sound design for an upcoming production. The winner is selected by the judging committee and receives a cash prize!

“I have found this to be incredibly enjoyable and beneficial as I rely on translating verbal description into a musical context and end product. Steve Francis has been an excellent guide and mentor in this process, lending his experience and expertise to help shape and often clarify the logistical or practical way to create the appropriate sound for a scene. This experience with ATYP is certainly one that will remain with me.” Kailesh Reitsman

2019: Daniel DuqueApril Aardvark
2018: Maddie Hughes Charlie Pilgrim 
2017: Kailesh Reitsman – Wonder Fly
2016: Chrysoulla Markoulli – Fight with all your might
2015: Sam Weller The Trolleys


Music and Gaming Mentorship
Create a soundscape for the tabletop gaming app Syrinscape. You will work with program creator Benjamin Loomes to develop a soundscape (both music & sound effects) which will be available as official content for gamers all around the world on the app! The 2021 winner is Dion Spyropoulos. Check out Syrinscape.


Thank you for allowing us to be involved in the launch yesterday. It was a great day for Hannah and her family and certainly we were proud of Hannah and her achievements. Belmont High School will be promoting your program and encouraging other students to get involved. This program is amazing and you should be rightly proud of the achievements gained by all participants. The students have had an opportunity that others would only dream of. The rewards for the students are obvious but I think that the program will benefit as these young people might become mentors to others in the program as the years go by.

Thanks for inviting us to the Fanfare event today. It’s the type of initiative that I love. Knowing nothing about music I find it astonishing that those pieces were created by such young composers. It’s a really clever way of showcasing the extraordinary talent of young people in an environment we associate with artistic excellence. Just brilliant.

What an opportunity to develop the art and love of music!

Definitely a great initiative and opportunity – demonstrates support from a major Arts Institution.

Amazed by the quality and style for the age. It’s an incredible opportunity and opening for the youths.

Any opportunity for using creativity to support learning is to be valued.

The competition I believe will inspire many music teachers to encourage the development of music in Australia.

The works are of very high standard and will be a refreshing change from the usual beeping.

Congratulations on this innovative initiative! With your superb publicity, news of this should spreads far and wide, and that perhaps all cue bells throughout the land, will soon be replaced with similarly inspirational sounds!

Andrew is excited to be part of the 2021 Fanfare Competition.  I am also thrilled to learn that Andrew’s composition will be workshopped and presented by SYO.  This will be a valuable fun learning experience for my boy to continue his musical journey working with conductors, musicians, and music educators, etc.  I have passed on this good news to St George Christian School where Andrew is currently studying as a Year 7 student.  The school is very supportive, and they published an e-news last June to share with the school community.

Thank you so much for the amazing opportunities you create for students. You have such a wonderful and inspiring program!

Artology’s Fanfare Competition is the winner of the 2016 Art Music Award for Excellence in Music Education. 

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