Imagine hearing your music played by the Australian Youth Orchestra and broadcast at partner 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. Entries for the 2020 Fanfare Competition will open in February 2020 with a deadline of 5pm, Monday 1 June 2020. Join the mailing list to keep informed on the deadlines.

Open Fanfare 2020 is new for 2020, seeing Artology partner with the Queensland Youth Orchestras (QYO) and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) to extend the opportunities for Fanfare entrants. In short, anyone entering Fanfare in 2020 will have the opportunity to be selected to have their composition performed at a special concert event at QPAC in September 2020 by the QYO. You will attend two intensive workshop sessions in Brisbane with mentor composers prior to the concert. More details soon.

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.

Sandra EglezosPrincipal, Belmont High School

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.

Fanfare Attendee

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

Fanfare Attendee

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

Fanfare Attendee

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

Fanfare Attendee

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

Fanfare Attendee

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

Fanfare Attendee

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

Fanfare Attendee

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!

Fanfare Attendee

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


  • Age Limit: 12-21 Years

  • STEP 1

    Select instrumentation from the AYO list and write your 30 second Fanfare. Create a Short Score (using a few instruments that best suit your composition); a Full Orchestral Score of your favourite four (4) bars plus a Recording. (If you are having difficulty converting your score to Short Score form simply submit a PDF of your full score).

  • Step 3

    Entries for the 2020 Fanfare Competition will open in February 2020 with a deadline of 5pm, Monday 1 June 2020.

  • Step 4

    Winning 8 participants for the 2020 Fanfare Competition will be announced June 2020.

  • Step 5

    Selected eight composers participate in two workshop days to refine their compositions with mentor composers Nicholas Vines and Lyle Chan (Sydney Grammar School) and one recording session with the Australian Youth Orchestra (Trackdown Studios, Moore Park).


  • Free travel to attend three workshops

  • Work with industry professionals

  • Attend a studio recording day with the AYO

  • Receive a copy of the studio recording

  • Hear your music broadcast at partner venues around Australia

  • Invitations to launch events

  • ATYP Sound Design Scholarship offer to 1 entrant


Before you start composing your fanfare make sure you have 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 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)



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.


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.



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!  The 2019 recipient Daniel Duque created the score for April Aardvark, read Daniels report.  The 2020 recipient will the sound design for the production of Soul Trading.

“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