Accessibility links


Sign In
  • Home
  • News
  • Fanfare Competition: Let the trumpets sound!

Fanfare Competition: Let the trumpets sound!

Our 2014 Fanfare winners share their experiences of the competition.

By Lizzi Easterbrook (Former Content Producer (Learning and Participation))

15 May 2014 at 11.15am | 2 Comments

The winners of our Fanfare competition recently joined us for a day at the Royal Opera House to hear their compositions played by the orchestra.

We asked them about their experiences of the competition and they gave us their honest views on working with professional musicians, inspirational teachers and being at the Royal Opera House:

When I heard I’d won the Fanfare competition, I was really surprised because my mum was on the phone to Mr James and her face was like what?? and then she told me. My family were shocked to hear that I won. It was cool with the orchestra because we got to hear it with musical instruments and it was better than the computer sound. It was cool to hear the other winners.

When I was writing my fanfare, I didn’t know what to do until Mr James helped me. I wrote down some notes from the keyboard, which took me about two lessons to complete and Mr James wrote it into music and now I am at the Royal Opera House. I have learned a lot here. I would love to come back to watch a ballet or show."

Joshua Dreyer

I composed this piece first in short score, then expanded on to my school’s Sibelius program. I never thought I would get to work on my compositions with real professionals, least of all those from the Royal Opera House. The fact that I’ve had a whole day to develop my piece and explore different ideas, with suggestions and guidance from such talented people, has been an experience I will remember all my life. My greatest thanks goes to Duncan Chapman and to all the musicians of the ROH Orchestra for giving me such a fantastic time."


My experience at the Royal Opera House was fantastic. We learned how to change and add musical instruments to our fanfare and met some of the orchestra. We played our fanfares with the orchestra and they helped us change it and add different instruments. I’m looking forward to our next visit when we will hear our piece played by the full orchestra and be able to sit in the auditorium in the audience."

Zara Lawrence

The day started with work with the orchestra which was very nerve-wracking. It was incredible listening to all the different instruments playing and seeing the whole orchestra work together. Listening to our fanfare being played by the different instruments made it sound very different and all the unusual sounds could change it completely.

After lunch we went on a tour. It was amazing to see how many costumes are needed. When making our fanfares, I never thought that we would actually win: I was really surprised. The whole experience has been really good so far and I am really looking forward to recording our fanfares and the launch."

Aliyah Vara

"My brother snatched up the phone and clamped it to his ear. After a few moments, he leaned towards me and said, “Tom, it’s the Royal Opera House for you.” Many thoughts were flashing through my mind, why were the Royal Opera House phoning me? As I took the phone I heard a voice say, “We really liked your fanfare; The Emperor’s Train.” Ding! A connection! The competition! “And,” continued the speaker, “it’s been chosen as one of the winning entries! Well done!” Feelings coursed through me. They actually liked it? I put the phone down and said, in a quiet voice, “Mum, you know my fanfare? It was chosen as one of the winning entries. I get to go to the Royal Opera House to develop my fanfare!” It was awesome, brilliant, better than I ever could have wished. I even met composer Duncan Chapman, and a professional violinist."

Tom Gibson

You will be able to hear the winners’ fanfares before performances from September 2014 and throughout the 2014/15 Season.

 Fanfare is a creative music programme that supports young people, aged 11-16, to compose their own fanfare to be played at the Royal Opera House. Over 260 young people entered this year and you can hear the ten winning entries here. The winning entries will be arranged by a professional composer, recorded by the Royal Opera House Orchestra and then played to thousands every night before performances. 

The Royal Opera House has created a pack of teaching resources to enable teachers to support students to compose, learn about the history of the fanfare and watch a previous winner arrange a fanfare.

Find out more about the resources available.

View our resources pack.

By Lizzi Easterbrook (Former Content Producer (Learning and Participation))

15 May 2014 at 11.15am

This article has been categorised Learning and tagged competition, fanfare, learning, learning and participation, schools, winners

This article has 2 comments

  1. Hi there,
    The 'anonymous' comment was by my son Theo Bently Curtin. He just forgot to put his name! He has been thrilled by the whole experience of working with Duncan Chapman and Antonio Pappano and the ROH musicians.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 25 May 2014 at 10:44pm

      Dear Peter

      Glad that Theo has enjoyed Fanfare! I've now added his name to the post.

      Best wishes


Comment on this article

Your email will not be published

Website URL is optional