As part of St David’s Hall’s 40th birthday celebrations, Arts Active launched a competition in February to find the perfect celebratory brass fanfare. Competitors were tasked with writing fanfares for standard brass band instrumentation, up to a maximum of five instruments, and were able to enter either an over-18s category or an under-18s category.
In the under-18s category, we were delighted to see one of Arts Active’s former Young Composers take the baton. Charlotte Kwok’s “unique and jaunty approach” was seen as “individual and memorable” by the judges, who liked her quirky, fun composition. Charlotte attended the Arts Active Young Composers Course earlier this year, where she worked with composer Richard Barnard and professional musicians Helen Whitemore, Andy McDade, Vikki Scanlon and Johanna Bartley to produce a composition, which was then recorded by the musicians.
We caught up with Charlotte following her win to ask a few questions;-
1. How does it feel to be the Under-18 winner of the Arts Active Fanfare Competition?
I’m very grateful for the opportunity to get my composition played live by professional musicians. It’s really inspiring to hear my composition brought to life from the software to live performance.
2. How did you find the Young Composers Course? Did taking part in the course encourage you to enter the competition and has it helped you in other ways?
I was recommended the course by my teacher.. The course has helped me build confidence in my compositions as well as gain valuable knowledge to improve them and make them more suitable for musicians to play.Taking the course definitely encouraged me to enter the competition. It is also nice to have such a prestigious reference for my personal statement.
3. What are your plans for the future? Will you carry on composing?
My aim for the future is to become a professional musician, Of course, I will carry on composing!
What an incredible achievement by this aspiring young composer. I’m sure we’ll hear more about Charlotte and her work in the coming years,, but for now we’ll be able to hear Charlotte’s brass fanfare played LIVE at St David’s Hall on the 12 July in the Brass & Voices Prom as part of this summer’s WELSH PROMS 2023.
The over 18s Winner, Andy Wareham was chosen for his “strong writing, playable flourishes and virtuosic writing”. The judging panel, made up of Kevin Price (Deputy Director of Music, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), Philip Harper (Musical Director of the Cory Band) and Dr Jonathan James (Founder of the Bristol Pre-Conservatoire) felt that Andy’s entry really stood out.
“Naturally, I am delighted to have achieved the 1st prize in the over-18 category for the Saint David’s Hall 40th Birthday Fanfare Competition! It felt very special to write music in celebration of the 40th anniversary of such a prestigious venue, one that played a large part in my undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Cardiff University and RWCMD. I am really looking forward to hearing the work performed during the Welsh Proms by members of the world famous Cory Band. My thanks to Kevin Price, Philip Harper and Dr Jonathan James for their comments as well as Arts Active for their hard work in running the competition”. Andy Wareham
Huge congratulations to both Charlotte and Andy for their exceptional work.
Arts Arts Active has run the Young Composers Scheme for the past 10 years. The course is among a handful in the UK open to musicians and composers from 14- 19 yrs. The Young Composer’s scheme is a FREE course for aspiring young musicians or young composers from across Wales. The scheme has been developed by the Arts Active team as part of the Cardiff Classical Extras programme at St David’s Hall and supported by the Arts Council of Wales.
If you’re an aspiring young musician or composer, then why not join us at this Summer’s Young Composers course on Monday 24-Thursday 27July. Sign up Summer Young Composers Course 2023 – Arts Active
Photo: Image on left Charlotte Kwok / Image on right Andy Wareham