ISA music composition competition win

- 30 June 2021 -

Huge congratulations are in order for music scholars Eliza (year 10) and Joe (upper sixth) at Leighton Park. They’ve been recognised for their creativity and skill in the ISA Arts, Music Composition Competition.

Dance Song’, awarded first place for Key Stage Three, is comprised of vocals and backing track by Eliza and ‘Icescape’, highly commended in Key Stage Five, is composed by Joe. Each are equally captivating yet unique pieces of music; Dance Song makes you want to do just that, with its upbeat tune and lyrics, whilst Icescape wouldn’t go amiss in a cinematic setting.

“Composition is extremely fun and rewarding.” enthused Joe, who has practised the art throughout his A Level course in Music Technology. He now looks forward to pursuing the subject at university.

“Originally at university I was going to study Music, but I changed that option to Music Tech because of how much I enjoy it here. Composition is a way to convey stories and emotion through the music you organise and create. I enjoy coming up with new and interesting musical ideas that can evolve in so many ways. Once a composition is complete, I can use it for many different things such as artwork, film music or simply music that gives off a certain idea.” Joe continued.

When asked what advice he would give to someone interested in experimenting with composition, Joe commented “Firstly be open to influence from other pieces of music that inspires you as you may want to compose a similar style to it and secondly, never throw away your ideas. These ideas may not seem always good, but in the right composition they might be the one thing that it is missing from the piece.”

music scholar at Leighton Park School playing a piano
Joe playing piano at Leighton Park

Leighton Park student giving a piano performance

Reflecting on the creative process from start to finish, the composer shared, “When starting the piece, the first thing composed was the main piano melody. This theme was a result of finding a chord progression I truly loved whilst playing around on a piano in my free time. These chords grew into a melody line and then once that was done, I just made the foundation of all the future musical themes heard in the piece. As for other instruments and sounds, each one was picked for specific purposes whether that’s for introducing a single theme or accompanying another by playing counter melodies.

The third section of the piece was a combination of all previous musical material plus a new theme that I composed over a year ago. This new theme was perfect for what I wanted. The final section was very important. It needed to reflect many elements of the first opening section, whilst remaining unique. So, to achieve this I modulated the main theme to a new key and slightly altered the rhythm of the melody to change it a little, then using the same instrumentation as the first section, I wanted them to play themes from other sections to act as accompaniment when the first main piano theme returns. To end the piece, I wanted it to end in a major key.”

Flora Curzon, Competition Judge and Violinist appealed “I encourage you all to continue writing music and to find your own unique way of making art and expressing yourselves. I hope you will all continue to enjoy making and listening to music throughout your lives.”

We’re sure you’ll join us is wishing Eliza, Joe and Leighton Park a huge congratulations on the ISA music composition competition win.

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