2007 Composition Competition Winners Announced
The prize winners for the Shrewsbury Concert Band Composition Competition were Catherine Wilson from Baschurch and Peter Lawrence from Nuneaton and declared joint winners. They will share the prize of £1,000 offered by the band for an original composition inspired by the life and works of Charles Darwin.
Both compositions will receive their premier performance at The Darwin Festival Concert to be held at St Mary's Church in Shrewsbury at 7.30pm on the 22nd February. Tickets Â£4 are available from The Music Hall in Shrewsbury and on the evening at the door. Shrewsbury Concert Band will be joined by Shrewsbury Cantata Choir with an introduction by Jon King Director of the Darwin Festival.
Catherine Wilson is now a music teacher in north Shropshire and studied at Huddersfield University where she received her BMus (Hons) and MA in music. Catherine teaches piano and composes mainly for younger players, this is her first prize winning piece in open competition.
Catherine says that the piece entitled "Darwinian Chorus" is a celebration of the discoveries, events and sights witnessed by Charles Darwin whilst on the voyage of the Beagle. She quotes from his journal of the voyage. "Nature in these climes (Rio de Janeiro) chooses her vocalists from more humble performers than in Europe. A small frog, of the genus Hyla, sits on a blade of grass about an inch above the surface of the water, and sends forth a pleasing chirp: when several are together they sing in harmony on different notesâ€¦
Various cicadae and crickets, at the same time, keep up a ceaseless shrill cry, but which is softened by the distance, it is not unpleasant. Every evening after dark this great concert commenced: and often have I sat listening to it, until my attention has been drawn away by some curios passing insect."
Peter Lawrence received an L.E.A. award to study the horn with James Brown at the Royal Academy of Music after which he attended Liverpool and Reading Universities, studying composition with Hugh Wood and horn with James Eastham. After many years performing and teaching, including working as head of an instrumental teaching service and as an examiner for the Guildhall School of Music he now works as an arranger composer. His music is regularly published in the UK and abroad and includes material for wind ensembles, brass band and especially educational use. His music is included in all the examination syllabi of the London colleges and he is receives commissions to write for orchestras, brass bands and wind groups.
Peter says his piece "Man of Vision"falls into three distinct parts, played without a break. The emotionally charged first section reflects Darwin's troubled education and the momentous voyage on the Beagle. Part two is in a much lighter, almost comical, vein and portrays adventures on places such as the Galapagos Islands and the unusual flora and fauna found there. Part three underlines the battles then facing Darwin including the sceptical public, ill health and family tragedy. The final coda, with its repeated fortissimo major chords affirms the magnitude and the impact of his visionary ideas.
The competition has been run in conjunction with The Darwin Festival held annually in February to celebrate the anniversary of the birth month of Charles Darwin who was born in Shrewsbury on the 12th February 1809.
The Concert at St Mary`s Church will be held on 22nd February 2007 at 7.30pm
Introduction and welcome by Mr Jon King, Director of the Darwin Festival
Shrewsbury Concert Band
Conductor Mr Ken Lumley
Music for the Royal Fireworks by Handel arranged by Hamilton Harty
Suite by William Byrd arranged by Gordon Jacob
Global Variations by Nigel Hess
The Padstow Lifeboat by Malcolm Arnold arranged by Ray Woodfield
Shrewsbury Cantata Choir
Conductor Mr David Leeke
Accompanist Kathryn Burningham
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom by J. Frederick Bridge
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace by S S Wesley
Folk Song Suite Ralph Vaughan Williams
Presentation of Awards to Catherine Wilson and Peter Lawrence
Darwinian Chorus by Catherine Wilson
Man of Vision by Peter Lawrance
The concert and competition has received financial support from Andrews Orme & Hinton Ltd Chartered Accountants and Darwin Direct Insurance Brokers and Windband retailers of fine brass and woodwind instruments and accessories.
Shrewsbury Concert Band is a community wind band that was formed in 1990 and has an open policy for musicians that can play to at least grade 5. The band rehearses at 7.30pm on Thursdays during the school term at Meole Brace School in Shrewsbury. The band is conducted by Ken Lumley Head of music at the school. The band attracts players from all over the county of Shropshire and neighbouring counties and performs in and around the county throughout the year, currently there are about forty members. The band play a wide range of music arranged for wind band from William Byrd in the fifteenth century to the Beatles of the twentieth and as a result of the recent competition we now have some twenty first century music to play.
Shrewsbury Cantata Choir is a non-audition, "all comers" choir, who enjoy making music to a high standard. They attempt music which requires a commitment from each of them to give of their best and to extend their musical horizons. They are a mixed choir of between 40 to 50 members, and there is usually a fairly equal distribution of voices.
The choir rehearse in the chapel of Shrewsbury School, each Wednesday during the school term, starting at 7.30pm and finishing promptly at 9.00pm.
Although many of the members live in Shrewsbury, there are some hardy souls who travel in from mid and north Shropshire, and indeed even from the Welsh borders, so this is not a "Shrewsbury only "choir.
The Choir has been established for nearly 20 years, and there are even some founder members still active! New members are always welcome to sing and join in the choir's lively social life.
David Leeke was born and grew up in Shrewsbury and studied with the late and legendary Sam Baker. After further studies at the Royal College of Music he spent some years in Kent as organist of various churches and as a school master; from 1999 to 2000 he was Director of music at Maidstone Grammar School. He moved back to Shrewsbury in 2000 and was until recently Master of the music at Shrewsbury Abbey.
David is currently the Director of the Sam Baker School of Music based at St Alkmonds Church. He examines nationally and internationally for the associated Board of the Royal School of Music at all levels and is the Royal School of Church Music Co-ordinator for the West Midlands that includes the dioceses of Birmingham, Coventry, Hereford, Lichfield and Worcester. He is also the National Professional Development Officer for the MMA.
Kathryn Burningham grew up in Surrey and was educated at Sutton High School and Oxford University where she was Organ Scholar of Merton College and took a first-class degree in music. She studied the organ with Robert Munns, Stephen Farr, Ian Curror and David Goode and holds diplomas from the Associated Board and the Royal College of Organists. During her time at Merton College she was responsible for the organising the music for the chapel services and the direction of the chapel choir. She has a particular interest in baroque music and also plays piano, harpsichord, cello and recorder. After some administrative work for the Royal School of Church Music and some short-term prep school music teaching Kathryn now pursues a wide-ranging freelance career which includes some instrumental teaching and a good deal of professional accompanying.
Composers were invited to submit an original composition inspired by the early life and works of Charles Darwin.
The composition will be for full Concert Band
Entries may be in any score format and should be accompanied by a recording or midi file.
The composition with be of no more than 10 minutes duration and will be suitable for a community concert band of grade 5 - 8 players.
The winning composition will be premiered by Shrewsbury Concert Band during the Darwin Festival in February 2007. The composer will be invited to attend the premier performance.
All entrants will be notified of the results by 1st February 2007
The closing date for entries will be 30th September 2006.
Entries will be accepted on CD or manuscript in which case 2 copies of the entry should be sent with the application form to
Judith Clarkson, 46 Washford Road, Meole Brace, Shrewsbury SY3 9HP.
The manuscripts should not bear the name of the composer. A number will be allocated to each entrant.
The competition will be judged by a panel of independent adjudicators and band members and the winning composition will be awarded a prize of â‚¤1000
A commemorative award will be made for 2nd and 3rd places
The organisers reserve the right not to make any awards and will not be obliged to enter into any correspondence with the competitors
The competition is open to all composers regardless of age or nationality.
An application fee of â‚¤10 is required for all entries to cover administration expenses.
Copyright will remain with the composer.
The entry implies permission for the band to perform and record the award winning pieces.