English Schools' Orchestra

Composing Competition 2016

ESO Composing CompetitionThe English Young Artists' Sinfonia Rehearsing for the Finalists' Concert in the Great Hall, Goldsmiths, University of London.

English Schools' Orchestra Composing Competition 2016

April 2016 saw the culmination of our second Composing Competition with the Finalists' Concert on 19th April 2016 in the Great Hall, Goldsmiths, University of London. The three finalists' compositions were performed by the English Young Artists' Sinfonia with the winning composition being chosen by our judges on the night.

The Three Finalists

The three finalists were Katrina Toner, Sebastian Skelly and Findlay Spence.

Following the highly succesful inaugural Competition and Finalists' Concert last year, the English Schools’ Orchestra was once again proud to support a nationwide competition to find the brightest young creative musical talent of the 21st century.

English Schools Orchestra PRS for Music Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Peter Ustinov Foundation

In association with PRS for Music, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and the Peter Ustinov Foundation, we jointly held a composing competition for young people. We invited young composers between the ages of 14 and 25 to submit an original composition of their own creation.

The winning composition was performed in London, in April 2016, in front of an invited audience by the English Young Artists' Sinfonia, a professional chamber orchestra consisting of former members of the English Schools' Orchestra. A cash prize of £250 was awarded to the winning entry.

English Schools' Orchestra

We are passionately committed to helping young musicians to develop their creative and performing talents and this competition provides an exciting venture in fulfilling this aim.

For details of our 2014 Competition, Finalists' Concert and to hear a recording of one of the finalist's compositions see the 2014 Competition page.


The three finalists in our 2016 Composing Competition.

Katrina Toner

Katrina Toner

Sunlight in Photographs
Katrina Toner is 18 years old, and is currently in her final year of secondary school. She studies composition with David Sutton-Anderson.…more
Sebastian Skelly

Sebastian Skelly

Circus After Midnight
Sebastian Skelly, 20, is coming to the end of a threeyear degree course in Creative Music Technology at the University of Surrey.…more
Findlay Spence

Findlay Spence

Perpetuum Mobile
Findlay Spence was born in 1997 in Edinburgh and now lives on the Black Isle in the Highlands of Scotland. In 2013, Findlay.…more

Finalists' Concert

The three judges giving feedback. Scott Stroman, together with the other judges, Edward Gregson and Richard Sisson, giving feedback following the three performances.

The Finalists' Concert was held in The Great Hall, Goldsmiths, University of London on Tuesday 19th April 2016 in front of an invited audience.

The Compositions were performed by the English Young Artists' Sinfonia, conducted by Robert Pepper MBE.

Full Programme

Compositions were judged on the night by the three judges, Edward Gregson, Richard Sisson and Scott Stroman and a winner was chosen.

The successful composition was Circus After Midnight by Sebastian Skelly.

Terms and Conditions

• By entering the Competition, the entrant will be deemed to accept these terms and conditions and entrants agree to be bound by the decisions of the judges, which shall be final and binding.

• The entrant may enter the ESO Composing Competition by submitting a completed entry form obtained from here.

• Entries must be sent in a Sibelius file to competition@englishschoolsorchestra.org.

• The Competition ran from 1st September 2015 and the closing date was 28th February 2016.

• Entries received after the closing date will not be accepted.

• There is no fee to enter the Competition.

• Entrants must be aged 14-25 and a UK resident.

• Only one composition per entrant will be accepted.

• Each participant may submit one composition lasting a maximum of 8 minutes, which must be written for a designated Chamber Orchestra instrumentation (2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timps and strings).

• By entering the Competition, the entrant is agreeing to let ESO use their name and composition in public, should they be shortlisted.

• A shortlist of three or more compositions will be prepared by the director of ESO.

• The shortlisted compositions were announced on the ESO website and were performed by the English Young Artists' Sinfonia on 19th April 2016 at Goldsmiths College, London.

• After the performance, the panel of judges chose the winning composition. This was announced at the concert and on the ESO website.

• The prize consists of £250 for the winning Composition.

• The prize is as described and no cash or other alternative will be offered.

• The Winner agrees to participate in any reasonable publicity for the Competition as well as any other promotional events.

• The Winner agrees that the Composition can be used in promotional activity related to the competition including hosting it on ESO, PRS for Music, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and Peter Ustinov Foundation websites and the winner agrees to up to three performances of the Composition as part of such promotional activity.

• Entrants will not be able to withdraw their composition once entered.

• Personal details of entrants, such as email and phone numbers, will be kept confidential by ESO and not passed to third parties. The name of the shortlisted composers will be revealed by ESO in publicity and programmes for the concert.

• Any further enquiries can be made via email to competition@englishschoolsorchestra.org.These terms and conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and each party submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.