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


Imagine hearing your music played by the Australian Youth Orchestra and broadcast at venues around Australia! If you are a budding composer or musician then the Fanfare Competition is an exciting opportunity for you.

Congratulations to everyone who entered the competition this year.  We are pleased to announce the following eight young people will participate in the Fanfare workshop sessions to have their compositions refined and finally recorded by the fabulous Australian Youth Orchestra and guest conductor.

In no particular order the selected eight for 2017 are:

Kailesh Reitsman [Age 19] Studying at AIM, NSW
Joshua van de Ven [Age 15] Studying at Emmaus College, Vic
Ronan Apcar [Age 16] Studying at Sydney Conservatorium High School, NSW
Ayda Akbal [Age 15] Studying at St Leonard’s College, Vic
Eric Bai [Age 13] Studying at Wesley College, Glen Waverley, Vic
Hannah Hunt [Age 16] Studying at Belmont High School, Vic
Scott van Gemert [Age 20] Studying at James Morrison Academy, SA
Caitlin Buchan [Age 15] Studying at Bendigo South East Secondary College, Vic

The competition is open to young people aged 12-21 years. To enter write a 30 second composition and submit a score and recording online. Eight selected participants will work with mentor composers Nicholas Vines and Lyle Chan to develop their ideas and then attend a live recording session with the Australian Youth Orchestra at Trackdown Studios.

The competition is looking for works that have ‘something to say’ and that 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.

Fanfares will be played at venues around Australia in 2018 and our presenting partners are:  Adelaide Festival Centre, Arts Centre Melbourne, Art Gallery Society of New South Wales and Perth Concert Hall.

Submission Details: 

Age Limit: 12-21 Years
Submission Deadline 2018: 5pm, Friday 15 June 2018 [Applications open in Feb 2018]

Step 1: Write your composition using instruments from the Australian Youth Orchestra list (below) in Short Score form (send us your score using a few instruments that best suit your composition) and send us your favourite four (4) bars in full orchestration. If you are having difficulty converting your score to Short Score form – just send us a PDF of your full score.
Step 2: Read the Terms and Conditions.
Step 3: Complete the Online Submission Form and 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 scan your score and create a sound file on an instrument of your choice and upload to your application.
Step 4: Eight Selected Participants Announced on 29 June 2018.
Step 5: Selected composers will participate in two workshop days to refine their compositions with mentor composers Nicholas Vines and Lyle Chan. The workshops will be held in Sydney (we will arrange your travel and accommodation).
Step 6: Rehearsal and recording day with Australian Youth Orchestra will be held at Trackdown Studios, Moore Park, Sydney.
Step 7: Works broadcast at performance venues.

Students if you need help we have created a DIY Guide, check it out!

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 (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 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)

atyp_logoAustralian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) : Mentoring Scholarship

Each year one Fanfare participant is selected to create the sound design mentorship at ATYP with Steve Francis.  The 2018 mentorship recipient will create the score for ATYP’s production Charlie Pilgrim (or a beginner’s guide to time travel)  [21 Nov-1 Dec 2018]. Working alongside leading industry experts in the field, their music is professionally recorded and used for each performance of the season. 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

2017: Kailesh Reitsman for Wonder Fly
2016: Chrysoulla Markoulli for Fight with all your might the zombies of tonight
2015: Sam Weller for The Trolleys


Listen to the Fanfares

Do you need inspiration for your fanfare?  Hear the recordings of the finalists.


The Fanfare competition sees the traditional 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. The fanfares from the 2016-17 competition were previewed in March 2017.

2017 Broadcasts: Sydney Opera House (SOH), Perth Concert Hall (PCH), Adelaide Festival Centre:

Callum O’Reilly : 8-15 April [SOH]; March [PCH]
Chrysoulla Markoulli : 16-23 April [SOH]; April [PCH]
James Littlewood : 1-8 July [SOH]; May [PCH]
Marcus Kha : 9-16 July [SOH]; June [PCH]
Oliver Beard : 23-30 September [SOH]; July [PCH]
Oscar Gill : 1-8 October [SOH]; August [PCH]
Rene Crump : 12-17 December [SOH]; September [PCH]
Xiao Xiao Kingham : 18-23 December[SOH]; October [PCH]

An Artology and Australian Youth Orchestra Project

ARTOLOGY_135             AYO_135

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


Fanfare applications will re-open in Feb 2018


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