Artology’s Fanfare Competition, 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.

The competition is open to young people aged 12-21 years. To compose 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. The deadline for the 2019 Fanfare Competition is 5pm, Monday 3 June 2019.

Submission Details: 

Age Limit: 12-21 Years
Submission Deadline 2019: 5pm, Monday 3 June 2019
Click here to complete the online entry form.

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 21 June 2019.
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 at Sydney Grammar School (Artology will arrange your travel and accommodation).
Workshop 1: Saturday 27 July 2019
Workshop 2: Saturday 24 August 2019
Step 6: Rehearsal and recording day with Australian Youth Orchestra will be held at Trackdown Studios, Moore Park, Sydney, 2019 TBC.
Step 7: Works broadcast at performance venues.

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

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)

The composers invited to participate in 2018:

Timothy O’Malley [Age 17], Vic
Benjamin Lau [Age 17], Qld
Aurora Lahur [Age 14], Vic
Maddie Hughes [Age 19], WA
Sheree Kuan [Age 18], NSW
David Lunn [Age 21], NSW
Ezra Hersch [Age 14], NSW
William Elvin [Age 14], Qld

Fanfares will be played at venues around Australia, hear them at:  





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 : we suggest you listen to Past Winners.

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.

atyp_logoAustralian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) : Mentoring Scholarship

Each year one Fanfare participant is selected to work with the ATYP team and Steve Francis to create the sound design for an upcoming production. The participant will work alongside leading industry experts in the field, have their music professionally recorded and used for each performance of the season. The winner is selected by the judging committee and receives a cash prize!  The 2019 mentorship recipient will create the score for April Aardvark [18-26 October 2019].

“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

2018: Maddie Hughes (WA) for Charlie Pilgrim (or a beginner’s guide to time travel)
2017: Kailesh Reitsman (NSW) for Wonder Fly
2016: Chrysoulla Markoulli (NSW) for Fight with all your might the zombies of tonight
2015: Sam Weller (NSW) 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 2018 competition were previewed in 4 March 2019 and can be heard throughout the year at:

Art Gallery Society of NSW
Ezra Hersch [Age 14], NSW : Geraldine Turner and Brian Castles-Onion, 17 February 2019 6:30pm – 9pm
Timothy O’Malley [Age 17], Vic : Sydney Symphony Orchestra, 24 March 2019 6:30pm
Aurora Lahur [Age 14], Vic : Monsieur Cambembert, 28 April 2019 6:30pm
Benjamin Lau [Age 17], Qld, Orava Quartet, 26 May 2019 6:30pm
Sheree Kuan [Age 18], NSW, Jane Rutter, 14 July 2019 6:30pm
David Lunn [Age 21], NSW,  Greta Bradman and Tamara-Anna Cislowska, 25 August 2019 6:30pm
Maddie Hughes [Age 19], WA, 20th Anniversary with Emma Pask and Band, 20 September 2019 6:30pm
William Elvin [Age 14], Qld, Simon Tedeschi and Kevin Hunt, 10 November 2019 6:30pm
Perth Concert Hall
William Elvin [March]
Ezra Hersch [April]
Maddie Hughes [May]
Sheree Kuan [June]
Aurora Lahur [July]
Benjamin Lau [August]
David Lunn [September]
Timothy O’Malley [October]
Arts Centre Melbourne
Benjamin Lau [12 March – 13 April]
Timothy O’Malley [18 April – 25 May]
Aurora Lahur [26 May – 2 July]
Maddie Hughes [3 July – 8 August]
Sheree Kuan [9 August – 14 September]
David Lunn [15 September – 21 October]
Ezra Hersch [22 October – 27 November]
William Elvin [28 November – 31 December]
Queensland Performing Arts Centre
Benjamin Lau [13 April, 4, 10, 11 May]
William Elvin [19, 25, 26 May & 1 June]
Timothy O’Malley [8, 16 June & 20, 21 July]
Aurora Lahur [4, 9, 10 Aug]
Maddie Hughes [17, 24, 29 Aug, 12 Sept]
Sheree Kuan [11, 12, 26, 27 Oct]
David Lunn [1, 3, 15 Nov]
Ezra Hersch [16, 28 Nov, 7 Dec]

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


Click here to enter the 2019 Fanfare Competition!


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