Jasmine Lai (Age 12), Southbank Vic

Composition: Coronation Fanfare

Listen to Jasmine’s original fanfare.

Australian Youth Orchestra recording of Jasmine Lai’s Coronation Fanfare.

My name is Jasmine Lai. I am 12 years old and currently studying in year 7 in Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. I am not only a young composer but also a pianist and percussionist. Since 2015, I have won multiple awards for my compositions regionally, nationally and internationally. My current composition teacher is Keiko Fujii. I started my composition journey in Yamaha Music Australia at the age of 6 when I entered into Junior Special Advanced Course after a successful audition. In 2015, I composed Waltz in C major and performed this winning piano solo piece in a World Composers Recital in Vienna in 2016. In the past few years, I was a prize winner for 3 consecutive years (from 2015 to 2017) in ACMF (Australian Children’s Music Foundation) National Songwriting Competition Instrumental category for my piano solo pieces (namely Elegy, Le Moment and Sad Waltz). Besides, I was a prize winner in QMTA Inc. Gold Coast Teacher Group Composers Competition (Open Junior section) (in 2017 and 2019) and received Tony Dorembus Original Composition Memorial Award in Boroondara Eisteddfod in 2017 and 2018. Recently, I am a recipient of Australian Music Centre Award. I have composed nearly 50 pieces of music with the majority being piano solo pieces and some of them are duet pieces (e.g. Marimba and piano, Violin and piano, Piano duet). Besides solo and duet pieces, I have also made a composition for Wind Symphony Orchestra. Many of my compositions can be found in my YouTube channel called Jasmine Melbourne.

Composition Inspiration 

My work Coronation Fanfare is my second orchestral music piece. My first orchestral piece was written for Wind Symphony Orchestra and I started to learn how to write music for multiple musical instruments. My inspiration to Coronation Fanfare comes from a movie I saw early this year. One theme of this movie was talking about a coronation ceremony and this has inspired me to write something which attracts audience attention. My composition teacher reminded me the importance of Brass and Percussion instruments. Based on my background as a percussionist in Melbourne Youth Orchestra for a few years, I have found my experience extremely useful because writing a Fanfare is very different from what I used to compose in piano solo or duet pieces. At the beginning, I listened to a lot of YouTube videos and experimented with a lot of different ideas and motifs on piano/keyboard. I eventually made up a motif that sounded special and extraordinary at the beginning. Then I started to write down my ideas in a software called Sibelius, first wrote the brass instruments, followed by wind instruments and percussion, with string instruments added near the end of my writing. My Fanfare starts with an anacrusis of chromatic notes by brass and wind instruments. It is immediately joined by percussion and string instruments which further develop into the first climax at the middle section. The key is based on a Mixolydian scale starting on C. After a short pause, brass and percussion instruments lead again with wind and string instruments at the same time to build up another tension. The whole piece concludes with fff which signifies the completion of the coronation ceremony.