Hannah Doyle, 18, who has just completed her studies at Blackpool Sixth, has won a prestigious national competition for young composers of choral music.
Earlier in the year Hannah was selected by the organisation ORA Singers to be one of only 10 young people from across the country to take part in a mentoring scheme. She received support from leading choral musicians to help further develop her compositional skills. The culmination of the programme was a competition in which each of the finalists’ final pieces were performed live in the beautiful surroundings of Holy Cross Church, St Pancras, London. The judges, chaired by celebrated TV choir expert Gareth Malone, choose Hannah the winner.
As a result of winning the competition, Hannah’s piece was played on Scala Radio, a national radio station for classical music.
The competition win was soon followed by Hannah finding out that she had achieved fantastic grades in her A levels: A grades in music, and music technology and a B grade in photography. She will now study Sound Technology at The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) from September and intends to go on to work either in live sound or studio recording. She still plans to carry on with her compositional work.
Hannah reflected on what she had learnt in the mentoring stage of the competition, “I was mentored by the composer Richard Allain for five months and I learnt the fundamentals of writing a choral piece. One of the most valuable parts of the mentoring program was a workshop that took place in May with Oliver Tarney, a leading composer and conductor. I was able to hear a section of my work-in-progress composition performed by ORA and hear their feedback on what it was like for them to sing it and how I could improve.”
The former Hodgson Academy student, commented on her experience attending the competition final, “It was an amazing experience to not only hear my composition sung instead of played by a computer generated sound but also to get feedback from established composers who specialise in vocal music. I got some great advice about getting into the audio industry as well as composing tips.”
Hannah says that her musical studies at Blackpool Sixth have helped pave the way to her remarkable success, “From studying A level Music and A level Music Technology, I believe my musical skills have developed significantly. Studying A Level Music has definitely helped my compositional skills, from the music theory taught through set works to writing various genres of compositions. Blackpool Sixth has opened the door to many musical opportunities such as the Musician of the Year Rotary Competition, playing in the pit band for the college’s production of Les Miserables as well as the chance to get involved with recording, using the studio. The music courses at Blackpool Sixth are amazing, especially with the facilities that the college offers.”