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National composition success for Oakham School student

A pupil from Oakham School has won a prestigious music composition competition, run by the Royal Opera House. Natasha, aged 14, penned a fanfare that impressed the judges – meaning it will now be recorded by the Royal Opera House orchestra and then played to thousands of visitors over the forthcoming season!

Natasha, who is a Music Scholar at Oakham, is one of just 10 winners selected from across the country in a field of entries that were considered to be “extremely high” by the Royal Opera House judges. Her original composition was inspired by famous operatic themes by Mozart and Wagner, which Natasha re-interpreted in her new piece.

“Oakham has a national reputation for excellence in composition, and our pupils’ ongoing success in this competition is a superb example of the high standards we achieve,” says Director of Music, Peter Davis.  ‘We are all extremely proud of Natasha and are looking forward to sharing the once in a lifetime experience of hearing her composition played at the Royal Opera House.”

Natasha joins an impressive line up of previous winners from Oakham School – seven in total – who have won the competition since it began in 2010: Martha and Morgan (2014), Imogen and Yuri  (2013), Francis (2012), Charlie (2011) and Lucy-Rose (2010).

As part of her prize, Natasha has been invited to a composition workshop at the Royal Opera House on 3rd March to take her fanfare, Fandabydosare, to the next level through refining and polishing. Composer and educator Steven Berryman, along with players from the Royal Opera House orchestra and composition students from the Royal Academy of Music, will all be on hand to help her to develop her composition. Natasha is then invited back in April to hear her fanfare being recorded by the Orchestra under the direction of world-famous conductor Antonio Pappano.

Natasha’s recorded fanfare will then be played regularly at main stage performances throughout the Royal Opera House’s 2018/19 season, letting the audience know when it’s time to take their seats both pre-show and at the intervals. 

Peter concludes, “through our culture of composition, we encourage our students to create and develop their own music.  We are continually exposing them to new compositions to enjoy singing, playing or listening – either their own peers’ pieces, or those of their music teachers, or by commissioning work from a variety of professional composers.” 

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