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

2017 Fanfare Competition: Call for applications

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.

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 composer Nicholas Vines to fully develop their ideas, and have their work pre-recorded by the Australian Youth Orchestra.

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.

2017 Fanfare Competition Closing Date: 5pm, Friday 26 May 2017.
Enter online today!

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: 5pm, Friday 26 May 2017.
Enter online today!

Step 1: Write your composition using instruments for 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. Enter online by 26 May 2017.
Step 4: 8 Winning Participants Announced on Monday 12 June 2017.
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 15 July and Saturday 5 August 2017 (we will arrange your travel and accommodation).
Step 6: Rehearsal and recording day with Australian Youth Orchestra will be held in Sydney in (TBC) September/October 2017.
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

Another great reason to enter the Fanfare Competition is one lucky young composer will be mentored in sound design by Steve Francis.  The 2017 mentorship recipient will create the score for ATYP’s production Wonder Fly [8-18 November 2016]. 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!

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 and will run at the Sydney Opera House until December 2017.

Broadcasts at Sydney Opera House (SOH) and Perth Concert Hall (PCH):

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.


Deadline Friday 26 May 2017.  Enter today!


© Copyright - Artology