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Fellowship Update: Student award in music composition project


Callie O’Brien, a first-year undergraduate student in the School of Music, has been awarded the first prize in this semester’s composition competition, awarded jointly by the School and the clarinettist, Heather Roche, for whom first year students were asked to write an imagined commissioned piece.

The prize was awarded in the context of Martin Iddon’s Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence Fellowship  ‘Teaching Musical Composition in the Twenty-First Century’. Working with colleagues Scott McLaughlin and Mic Spencer the project  aims to bring degree coursework into contact with the world of professional practice. With that in mind, all students on the module had the opportunity to have contact with Heather during the module.

Callie’s piece, Oberon’s Lament, was, by turns, whimsical and lyrical, both effective and affective, balancing the conceptual with the musical enormously elegantly. Heather commented: “I was immediately struck by the playful concept, the very specific and detailed use of extended techniques and the beautifully presented score of Callie’s work. I could easily imagine myself performing the work, and enjoying the process of learning it.”

Callie said: “Heather's workshops and website resources were instrumental in developing my skills this year: it'll be hard going back to the default Sibelius sounds. The feedback I’ve gotten on my piece has been really inspiring and I can't wait for what’s next!”