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Two alumni selected for Composition: Wales

20 December 2017

Musical score

Two graduates from the School of Music have had scores selected by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to be played in a composer showcase.

Recent Masters graduate Lucy McPhee and Masters and PhD Composition graduate Gareth Churchill are two of seven composers selected for the Composition: Wales project. The selected scores will be performed in a showcase celebrating works by Welsh composers, held at the BBC Hoddinott Hall in February 2018.

Composition: Wales is an annual project, organised in collaboration with Composers of Wales, Tŷ Cerdd and the Welsh Music Guild, in which Welsh composers are invited to submit scores for consideration to the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

This year’s brief was to submit a composition of no longer than eight minutes which would be ‘the perfect concert opener or an encore for a BBC National Orchestra of Wales concert.’

HardWired by Lucy McPhee is set in four movements and explores different characters from phonics-based learning tool ‘Letterland’.

Speaking of her composition, Lucy said: “Language is essential to everyday life and I have explored my own experience of learning how to read and write using my favourite characters from ‘Letterland’. Movement II, which I submitted to Composition: Wales, explores the personality of ‘Hairy Hat Man’.”

Concentrations, submitted by Gareth Churchill, is a piece inspired by an eponymous sequence of poems by Philip Gross in his collection The Water Table. Gareth explains: “I observed how a sequence of inter-related, developmental miniatures could form a coherent larger body.

“Each section of Concentrations explores particular musical means in a developmental way. As the piece progresses, its latter sections reference earlier material, bringing a sense of cohesion to the whole.”

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