Go Compose

Go Compose

The Commonwealth Resounds and its partners have been running Go Compose projects in Commonwealth countries since 2018. We have run projects throughout the UK and also in India, Antigua, the Solomon Islands and South Africa. In every case, young people have learned how to compose, supported by expert composition tutors and instrumentalists who have performed their works for them at the end of each project.

I asked if the workshop had given them a feeling that they would like to try more composing and there was a genuine and unanimous yes! They were already asking how we can do more of this and when?

Shiloh Marsh

Project Manager, Access Music, South Africa

Our latest updates

Commonwealth International Composition Award – Grand Final

Commonwealth International Composition Award – Grand Final

Grand Final 2022

THE COMMONWEALTH INTERNATIONAL COMPOSITION AWARD
Contact us to reserve ticketsFind out more about the finalists

The Grand final of the Commonwealth International Composition Award will take place at 6pm on Friday 4th March 2022.

Ten wonderful pieces by our shortlisted young composers from all over the world, mentored by advanced students from the Royal Northern College of Music

The Princess Alexandra Hall, Royal Over-Seas League, Over-Seas House, Park Place, London SW1A 1LR

The Grand Final will be livestreamed

Free entry with a collection at the end to help support online composition teaching for young
people via ‘Go Compose Online’ 

The Adjudicators

Orphy Robinson

Barbara Law

Sylvia Lim

Kindly supported by

Go Compose Online

Go Compose Online

Go Compose, Online!

We created Go Compose Online during the first pandemic in 2020, to give young people who were stuck at home all over the world a chance to compose their own music. There were five excellent projects run during this time and over 70 young composers took part.

The projects were run by composers Duncan Chapman, Philip Dutton, Lauren Marshall and Sonya Knussen (2 projects)

Go Compose Online was advertised widely, helped by the ABRSM, Sound and Music and the Commonwealth Secretariat

Sonya Knussen who lives in North America, ran two excellent workshops, and enjoyed working with young composers so much that she created her own Go Compose, North America. This project is run in a different time zone to those in the UK, which is excellent for young Commonwealth composers throughout the Caribbean and in Canada. They have run many workshops during 2020 and 2021 and in the summer of 2021 even created an exciting festival for young composers. 

For all the young composers who took part in Go Compose Online, during the lockdown, The Commonwealth Resounds organised a special competition called the Commonwealth Composition Challenge. This was open to young people around the world and we created a special online concert for those shortlisted.

Go Compose, Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands

The Dionysus Ensemble in the Solomon Islands

The Commonwealth Resounds Ensemble-in-Residence, the Dionysus Ensemble recently travelled to the Solomon Islands to lead a musical project for young people.  This project provided expert instrumental teaching for existing students in piano and violin as well as giving some children their first ever instrumental lessons, including the first ever cello lesson on the Islands!

 The Dionysus Ensemble ran a “Go Compose Solomon Islands” day, which for the first time, introduced composition and trained the students not only how to create their own music, but to write it down. The day was focussed on music theory and notation practices as well as the importance of music being documented for posterity so that their music can be shared, performed by others and last into the future. Our students returned over the following few days with pages of newly created music, which they’d worked on at home after class, to ask advice, seek out new ideas and direction and to check their work with us. We performed and recorded all of their pieces for them so that each student now has a professionally performed record of their first piece.

 

I couldn’t sleep last night because I wanted to practise!

Reynard, 15

You taught me to be brave and to play the piano

Juanita, 8

Great teachers and musicians. Loved learning from them and listening to them playing their instruments. Such great inspirations.

Ian, 18

Beyond this Project

We would love to be able to continue the work that we started – to put in place regular teaching, a regular concert itinerary in which they could perform, to develop their composition skills, to increase the number of students able to have access to PASI and to take desperately needed resources such as instruments, spare strings, manuscript paper and music stands over for them.

Sponsors

This project would not have been possible without the kind and generous support of our sponsors and supporters.

    • The British High Commission, Honiara
    • Solomon Airlines
    • Universal Edition
    • The Mercers’ Company
    • The Royal Society of St George
    • Imperial Travel, Solomon Islands

 Find out more! A full account of the Dionysius ensemble’s time in the Solomon Islands can be found here

Go Compose

Go Compose, Antigua!

Antigua!

Go Compose is a 1-day training programme for young composers which was created by the UK’s most well-known new music organisation, Sound and Music and has been run in venues all over the UK for several years. In 2019, The Commonwealth Resounds visited Antigua to deliver a wide variety of musical outreach including several Go Compose sessions for composers on the island.

Go Compose offers the young composers a ‘crash course’ in composition, where in a single day, they are coached by expert composition tutors and professional instrumentalists and enabled to write a short piece of music, which is then rehearsed and recorded. This provides a very positive first experience for young emerging composers.

GO COMPOSE, ANTIGUA! included the following participants:

  • Alison Cox, Head of Composition, The Purcell School – Key Tutor
  • Khan Cordice, Steelpan Expert, Composer and Director of Music, The Clare School – Associate Key Tutor
  • Ka Youn Yoo, Alex Papp and Joshua Mock – Young Composition Assistants
  • Jordan Black, Alex Papp, Joshua Mock and Khan Cordice – Performers.
  • Young composers Teshanna, Brianna, Erienne, Deniko, Khadijah, Jahfari, Tatyana, Tasheka, Khara and Alliyah

The young composers wrote for four instruments – clarinet, viola, steelpan and cello, some of which were familiar to them and others which were not! There was a lot of lively discussion about combining and notating different musical techniques and special effects. Graphic scores were used by those who wanted to present their music visually in a different way.

All 10 young composers managed to finish their pieces in a single day, by working incredibly hard and making full use of the opportunity.

To close the project, there was a fascinating concert of new pieces written by the young composers during ‘Go Compose, Antigua! on the previous day!

The concert was attended by Their Excellencies the Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda and the High Commissioner, plus everyone in the ABYSO. Each young composer introduced their own piece before it was played.

The Governor-General and the High Commissioner chose three of the 10 compositions to be performed in the Commonwealth@70 Gala Concert on Sunday July 14th.

Everyone was extremely proud of ALL the young composers for their hard work and achievement.

Creativity in the Commonwealth!

Creativity in the Commonwealth!

On Tuesday May 14th, Alison Cox OBE, TCR’s Founder and Chair of Trustees was invited to the Houses of Parliament by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, UK  to speak about Creativity in the Commonwealth, along with Mr Gee the Poet and Daniel Hatton from the Commonwealth Fashion Council.

Alison spoke about the importance of musical creativity, and the impact this can have upon musicians and their livelihoods. She mentioned the Commonwealth International Composition Award (TCR’s latest, high-profile project) and also some of the other projects we have run for CHOGM in previous years; for example, the Commonwealth Pianorama (53 short piano pieces from all over the Commonwealth,  performed in Trinidad, London and Edinburgh in 2009/10) and Panorpheus (53 flute-harp pieces created for CHOGM 2015 in Malta).

The Commonwealth Resounds also organised some imaginative cultural entertainment for the Parliamentary Association . A spectacular Commonwealth juggler, Emmanuael the Magnificent, juggled with bowls, spinning plates, skittles and even with Parliamentary chairs! Emmanuel’s performance was enhanced by young jazz musicians from The Purcell School who created improvisations to accompany the performance.

Training young musicians and composers in Antigua and Barbuda

Training young musicians and composers in Antigua and Barbuda

From July 6th-16th, a group of talented young musicians and staff from The Purcell School and Wells Cathedral School will be travelling to Antigua and Barbuda with award-winning musicians from the Royal Over-Seas League to run training programmes with the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra.

All the young musicians involved in this programme have outreach leadership experience. Several of them are also members of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

They will also be running a special programme called ‘Go Compose, Antigua’ for school-aged composers involved in the new pilot training programme for the Commonwealth International Composition Award.

Her Excellency, Karen-Mae Hill, the High Commissioner of Antigua and Barbuda has organised an exciting programme of masterclasses, rehearsals and performances for the visiting musicians.

In January 2019, Alison Cox visited Antigua and Barbuda to promote the new Commonwealth International Composition Award. The High Commissioner worked very hard to ensure that Alison was able to meet and speak to as many key partners in Antigua as possible. She was invited to speak the national radio and TV, including  ‘Antigua and Barbuda Today’ with Patrice Martin and Khan Cordice. Also, Alison met His Excellency The Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Rodney Williams and his wife, Lady Williams.

Watch this space for further information about this groundbreaking project.

The Commonwealth International Composition Award

The Commonwealth International Composition Award

Commonwealth International Composition Award

In association with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and the Purcell School for Young Musicians

Do you want to learn how to compose music?

A Connected Commonwealth is a Composing Commonwealth!

Her Excellency, Baroness Patricia Scotland

Secretary-General of the Commonwealth

I have no doubt that the Composition Award will flourish and deliver some life-changing experiences for young people across the globe.

Paul Bambrough

Principal of the Purcell School, the oldest specialist music school on the Commonwealth

We are so excited about this initiative for young people!

Luis Dias

Musical Director, Child's Play, India

Composition is a very special and personal thing. I am excited to see what the results will be from the four pilot countries!

Geoff Parkin

Artistic Director, Royal Over-Seas League and Patron of the Commonwealth Resounds

I am delighted to hear that you are continuing to promote music within the Commonwealth, focusing upon its youth.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN

Latest news

Winner of the CICA Announced

Winner of the CICA Announced

We are delighted to announce the winner of the Commonwealth International Award 2022 is Devon Packer from Canada. Devon Packer is a 16 year old pianist who lives in Montréal, Canada. He has been studying piano at the McGill Conservatory of Music since the age of 5....

Winners of the Commonwealth International Composition Award 2022

Winners of the Commonwealth International Composition Award 2022

We are delighted to announce the winner of the Commonwealth International Composition Award 2022. The Grand Final was held in the Princess Alexandra Hall, Royal Over-Seas League last week. Two panels of adjudicators made up of distinguished professionals and young...

CICA audience vote

CICA audience vote

Young people from all over the world submitted their works to the 2021 / 2022 Commonwealth International Composition Award. There were many wonderful entries, and it was difficult to choose a shortlist of ten pieces. These will be performed in the Grand Final on...

Commonwealth International Composition Award Finalists 2022

Commonwealth International Composition Award Finalists 2022

We are so excited to announce the shortlist for The Commonwealth International Composition Award 2022! We are really proud of all the young composers this year and were amazed by the high standard of all the entries. Congratulations to everyone who has been...

Commonwealth International Composition Award – Grand Final

Commonwealth International Composition Award – Grand Final

The Grand final of the Commonwealth International Composition Award will take place at 6pm on Friday 4th March 2022. Ten wonderful pieces by our shortlisted young composers from all over the world, mentored by advanced students from the Royal Northern College of Music...

Entries Open for 2022 Composition Award

Entries Open for 2022 Composition Award

Entries are now open for the 2022 Commonwealth International Composition Award The Commonwealth International Composition Award is a competition now in its third year, which aims to encourage young musicians to write their own music, and to give young composers the...

CICA Audience Vote is LIVE!

The Commonwealth International Composition Award Audience Vote is now live! Well done to all of our young composers for writing such fantastic pieces! All were inspired by poems written by poets from around the Commonwealth: Dance Craze by Kendel Hippolyte (St Lucia)...

Final Shortlist Announced

We are delighted to announce the final shortlist for our First Commonwealth International Composition Award in association with ABRSM and The Purcell School. The number and standard of entries was extremely high and the judges were very impressed with every single...

Commonwealth Hurricane Support Concerts

Commonwealth Hurricane Support Concerts

In 2017, Hurricane Irma created great devastation, especially in the Commonwealth countries of Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis and Dominica.

Before CHOGM 2018, The Commonwealth’s Secretary-General appealed to all Commonwealth Accredited Organisations, asking them for some help and support. The Commonwealth Resounds, as a musical organisation wondered at first how we could possibly do anything to help. Then we had an idea!

We contacted many of our musical outreach partners in the UK – primary and secondary schools, individuals, music hubs and others – and asked them to consider running their own Hurricane Support Concerts, educating children and audiences about the Commonwealth, the Caribbean and hurricanes, and raising funds to rebuild cultural programmes in affected countries. There was a very positive response to this appeal! Schools in London, Hertfordshire, Manchester and Norfolk responded and created excellent concerts, raising funds for the hurricane victims.

The Commonwealth Hurricane Support Concerts programme is making excellent progress, and more concerts will be taking place in schools  throughout 2018 and 2019.

To offer a concert, find out more or to support for the programme in other ways please email Alison Cox OBE, Founder and Chair of Trustees, The Commonwealth Resounds at tcr2015@btinternet.com Alison will be delighted to hear from you, and will be able to answer all your questions.

News

Hurricane Support Concert, Cambridge

Hurricane Support Concert, Cambridge

Lily, Magdalene and Butterfly are three outstanding young musicians studying for their Gold Arts Award at The Purcell School. As part of this, they organised their own concert, and have donated all the proceeds to TCR's Commonwealth Hurricane Appeal. The poster was...

Commonwealth Hurricane Support Concerts

Concerts to support hurricane victims

In 2017, Hurricane Irma created great devastation, especially in the Commonwealth countries of Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis and Dominica. Before CHOGM 2018, The Commonwealth's Secretary-General appealed to all Commonwealth Accredited Organisations, asking...