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Composition students follow an exciting and diverse programme led by Dr Jeremy Pike, who has written for City of London Sinfonia, for broadcast on Radio 3’s In Tune, and for his daughter, violinist and Chetham’s alumnus Jennifer Pike; and Gavin Wayte, who combines classical and electronic music in film scores, pop music, jazz, ballet and opera. Individual tuition is accompanied by seminars and workshops, and there are many opportunities for student works to be performed through three annual Composers’ Concerts and a regular series of Lunchtime Concerts.
Composition students learn to use sophisticated music technology facilities both for composing and the presentation of scores, and School computers are equipped with Sibelius software to enable digital transcriptions. They are encouraged to write for a wide range of ensembles, with two concerts each year dedicated to chamber music and one to works for larger ensembles.
“As a larger school, Chetham’s is one of the best places for composers to study at – there is such a diverse array of musicians to give one advice, and there are a number of larger ensembles to write for, as well as opportunities to conduct one’s own music, or the music of fellow students. The composition department here at Chet’s is unique, as everyone works together, creating a great sense of synergy” – Tammas, composer, Year 11
The success of the composition programme is evidenced by students’ successes in competition and in higher education. Chetham’s students have been among the winners of the BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers’ competition every year since 2009; in 2016, students also won the Royal Opera House Fanfare Competition and the National Centre for Early Music Composers’ Award, gaining them performances on BBC radio and at prestigious national venues.