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

2016-17 Fanfare’s announced

The judges were delighted with the quality of the compositions submitted this year. They short-listed over 30 works for consideration at the panel meeting and following the set criteria and careful deliberation eight works were selected.

In no particular order the selected eight composers are:

Xiao-Xiao Kingham, Age 16 [VIC]
James Robert Littlewood, Age 21 [VIC]
Oscar Gill, Age 13, [NSW]
Chrysoulla Markoulli, Age 19 [NSW]
Marcus Kha, Age 14 [SA]
Oliver Max Benjamin Beard, Age 18 [NSW]
Callum O’Reilly, Age 19 [WA]
Renee Crump, Age 13 [VIC]

Imagine hearing your music played by the Australian Youth Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House! 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 the Sydney Opera House.

Competition currently closed.

Submission Details: 

Age Limit: 12-21 Years
Submission Deadline: Competition currently closed.

Step 1: Write your composition using instruments for the AYO 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 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. Competition currently closed.
Step 4: 8 Winning Participants Announced on Friday 3 June 2016
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 16 July and Saturday 13 August 2016 (we will arrange your travel and accommodation).
Step 6: Rehearsal and recording day with Australian Youth Orchestra will be held in Sydney in Sunday 4 September 2016.
Step 7: Works broadcast at the Sydney Opera House

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)



Teachers why not incorporate the Classroom Activities into your 2016 program?

Artology in partnership with Cool Australia have created a selection of teaching resources to complement classroom learning in support of the competition. Each lesson is mapped to the Australian Curriculum, provides a clear and practical teaching approach, including comprehensive teacher advice. New this year is a Student DIY Guide that breaks down the composition process with short activities and allows students to work independently on their compositions.

<<< Link to Teacher Resources

Here are a set of videos to help you with your composition.

atyp_logoAustralian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) : Mentoring Scholarship

The 2015 Mentoring Scholarship went to Sam Weller. Sam worked with sound designer Steve Francis to create the score for ATYP’s production of The Trolleys. The program sees one lucky young composer mentored in sound design for an ATYP production. 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 also receives a cash prize! The 2016 mentorship will be to create the score for ATYP’s 2016 production of Fight with all your might the Zombies of tonight [from 9-19 November 2016].


Listen to the Fanfares

Do you need inspiration for your fanfare?  Hear the recordings of the 2014 and 2015 finalists.


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 April 2016 and will run at the Sydney Opera House until December 2016.   If you are visiting the Sydney Opera House you will hear:

Hamish Ander : 4 – 17 April 2016
Glenn Bussey : 18 – 24 April 2016
Elise Bergman : 10 June – 1 July 2016
Alexander Lau : 2 – 17 July 2016
Sam Weller : 24 September – 1 October 2016
Jordan Halaseh : 2 – 9 October 2016
Cordelia Olivia To : 8 – 15 December 2016
Alexander Voltz : 15 – 24 December 2016


An Artology, Sydney Opera House and Australian Youth Orchestra, Project

ARTOLOGY_135               AYO_135

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


Competition currently closed.


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