Royal Opera House to hear pupils’ work

Two young composers at an Alford school are to have their work played at London’s Royal Opera House after triumphing in a national competition.

Thomas Brook, 14, and Emma Shaw, 14, of Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar are among 12 budding Bachs to be selected as winners in the venue’s latest Fanfare Competition.

Held annually, the initiative sees would-be Wolfgangs compose a 30-second fanfare which, if selected, is recorded by the Royal Opera House’s orchestra and then played to audience members before and during the intervals of performances.

This is the second year in a row pupils from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar have been named as winners.

John Lyon, assistant headteacher and subject leader for music said: “The Royal Opera Fanfare Competition provides an amazing opportunity for students to contextualise their learning by composing music which has a real purpose.

“I was delighted to hear from Royal Opera that we had been successful again this year and that in addition to our two winning students, seven more of our entrants made it through to the top 40 fanfares shortlisted by the judges this year.”

Thomas and Emma will be invited to spend a day at the Royal Opera House, where they will be given a tour of the building and backstage.

They will meet musicians from the venue’s orchestra and also Duncan Chapman, composer in residence, who will work with them to develop their compositions into a full-blown orchestral fanfare.

The Year Nine pupils will return to London later in the year for the rehearsals and recording stage.

Finally, they will be invited to attend a pre-performance reception where each winner will receive a certificate, a score and recording of their fanfare. They will then take their seats in the auditorium to see an opera performance and hear their fanfares performed during the interval.