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Fanfare winners, five times running!

Published by Oakham School on Wednesday 7th of May 2014

For the fifth year running, Oakham School pupils have won a prestigious Fanfare Competition, run by The Royal Opera House.

Martha Herring and Morgan Overton composed powerful and catchy fanfares to win the competition, beating over 250 entrants from across the country. Along with the eight other winners, they now have the opportunity to work with a professional composer to develop their pieces and to have them recorded by the Royal Opera House orchestra. Their Fanfares will then be regularly played to thousands of visitors to the Royal Opera House.

This is not only an exceptional achievement for the individual pupils, but it is also an impressive feat for the Music Department. Oakham School is unique in having had pupils win the competition every year since it began in 2010. Martha and Morgan join previous winners Imogen Brown and Yuri Bryars (2013), Francis Wignall (2012), Charlie Abbott (2011) and Lucy-Rose Graham (2010).

A number of Oakham's Form 3 pupils (Year 9) tried their hand at writing a fanfare. Their compositions were then submitted to the competition, which is open to anyone aged 11-16 from across the UK. This year's winners, Martha and Morgan, are both music scholars and are just 13 years old. They are delighted to have won this accolade and are very much looking forward to working with the Royal Opera House orchestra to bring their compositions to life.

'Oakham School now has a national reputation for compositional excellence, and I am enormously proud of this year's prize winners,' says Peter Davis, Director of Music. 'To be the only school to have won every year since the competition began just indicates the quality of the music education here at Oakham.'

This is the second major composition competition that Morgan has won this academic year. He was recently selected as the winner of the 13 and under category in the Britten Young Songwriter Competition, which challenged youngsters to set music to the words of two poems especially written by the popular writer Anthony Horowitz. The competition marked the centenary of the composer Benjamin Britten, and Morgan's win was particularly significant for Oakham given the school's strong links to Britten. The composer's famous 'Friday Afternoons' songs were dedicated to his Oakham-educated brother. The school celebrated its links with Britten and his centenary by commissioning a new companion piece for 'Friday Afternoons', entitled 'Daydreams'. This set of six songs for children's voices was been written by Paul Williamson and scored by Thomas Hewitt Jones, one of the country's most exciting new composers.

'We really do try to inspire our pupils to develop their talents in composing music', says Peter, 'to encourage them to follow in the footsteps of Britten - who had already written over 100 pieces by the age of 14!'

Fanfare winners, five times running! - Photo 1
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