Listen to Nathan’s original composition submitted with his entry.

Nathan Shan (Age 17, Qld)

FANFARE: Skyward Suite: Voyager Fanfare

My name is Nathan Shan, and I am currently in my first year at the University of Queensland. My musical journey started when I was 5, when I was introduced to piano. When I was in my younger years, my parents would often get annoyed when I would mess around with chords and melodies in lieu of playing the prescribed scales and Hanon studies. After leaving composition in favour of training my classical skills on piano and violin, I rediscovered the joys of composition in high school music classes. Often I would compose 3-4 pieces for every composition task that was available, experimenting with different styles and instrumental arrangements. My music teacher often commented on the grand scale of my compositions, and I now think this was informed by the grand scale of orchestral pieces that I had the chance to play in school orchestra and the Queensland Youth Symphony. I am so grateful that my orchestral journey has exposed me to timeless masterpieces such as various Beethoven symphonies and Rachmaninoff’s brilliant piano concertos.

Composition inspiration:

The first thing that I came up with in this composition was the melody line for the trumpets. I wanted to write a very typical fanfare that made use of a catchy ostinato and development off of this ostinato.

Through this ostinato, one of my musical friends helped me discover the title: Skyward Suite: Voyager Fanfare. I envisioned a short “Skyward Suite” with an uplifting feel and brass-heavy orchestration; an ode to the beauty of space and all that we see when we look up to the skies. The Voyager Fanfare is the first of these pieces, a bombastic opening that celebrates the fact that humanity itself can and will voyage into space. This piece would be followed by more introspective and explorative pieces (some ideas suggested were a zero-gravity waltz, starlight nocturne, meteor fall fugue and a satellite scherzo).