A Young Person's Guide to Composition

For Young Performers (any instrument) and Orchestra
(2014) 24 minutes
Solo Instrument(s): Young Performers (all instruments)
Orchestration: 2+pic.2.2.2/4.2.2+btbn.1/timp.4perc/hp/str

Commissioned by the London Chamber Orchestra's Music Junction programme and premiered at Cadogan Hall on 22nd May 2014 by 150 school children and the London Chamber Orchestra conducted by Christopher Warren Green.

Programme note

A Young Person’s Guide to Composition is inspired by Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, the theme of Begone, Dull Care! (from Britten’s Friday Afternoons) and musical ideas (in response to emotions that I set at the beginning of the series of workshops) from all of the young people involved in the LCO’s Music Junction project.

The commission, which was to write a piece for the London Chamber Orchestra and Music Junction’s young performers, was at first very difficult to get my head around! How to write a piece that was as faithful to my own compositional language as possible whilst also allowing for the participation of some absolute beginners? I wanted to give everyone as accurate an insight in to my compositional process as possible, and with this in mind we used emotions as a starting point and created improvisations during the workshops that sought to express Hope, Excitement, Courage and Pride. I then took the musical ideas generated in the workshops and used them as the basis for my work. With the exception of  Courageous Rondo, all the material that Music Junction plays has been created by the young people involved, and the challenge for me was to use all my compositional tools to create a work that I hope is fulfilling to play, becomes more than a sum of its parts, and is true to my own musical style. 

The movements are as follows:

Theme - Begone, Dull Care!

Variation I (for orchestra alone)

Variation II - Hopeful Harmonies (for young musicians and orchestra)

Variation III (orchestra alone)

Variation IV - Excited Ostinati (Y.M. + orch) - followed by Music Junction Improvisation

Variation V  - Courageous Rondo (Y.M. + orch)

Variation VI - for orchestral ‘cellos, basses and harp

Variation VII - Prideful Passacaglia (Y.M.+ orch) - followed by Music Junction Improvisation

Grand Choral Finale! (for Y.M., orch and audience!

© Cheryl Frances-Hoad, 2014


Watch the World Premiere on Vimeo

Watch the Pre-performance talk on Vimeo

Watch one of Cheryl's vlogs about the piece on Vimeo

Peruse the score online with Issuu