Budding young composer Jack Pepper is already making himself heard in the world of classical music before he has even left school – after winning a competition to have his work performed at the world-famous Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
Rather than use the usual announcements to call concert-goers to the auditorium for performances and in the interval, Covent Garden uses fanfares, and 17-year-old Jack, who goes to the Glyn School in Epsom, has had one of his compositions selected for use at the theatre.
“I was told about the competition by a member of staff at school, and it took me a couple of hours to come up with my original 25 second composition, written for four instruments,” he explained. “I was very surprised to receive an email some weeks later, saying that I was one of 10 entrants whose pieces had been chosen by a panel of conductors, composer and musicians, and we all had to go to Covent Garden for a workshop where we worked with some musicians and a full-time composer on the arrangement of the piece – which ended up being recorded by a 43-piece orchestra!”
After working in close consultation with Royal Opera House music director Sir Antonio Pappano, several versions of Jack’s piece – entitled Curtain Call – were recorded, and visitors to Covent Garden this autumn will be able to hear it when it is used during the interval of performances of Vincenzo Bellini’s opera Norma, throughout September and October.
Jack is Head Boy of the Glyn School, a founder member of the GLF Schools multi-academy trust, which runs more than a dozen schools across the south east of England, from new-build primaries to long-established secondary schools.
Having one of his compositions performed at Covent Garden should have been a dream come true enough, but there was still one more surprise in store – as out of the 10 winning entrants, he was chosen to be the subject of a short film about the competition made by BBC News, for their website.
“The whole experience has been absolutely amazing and, as an aspiring composer, truly inspirational,” Jack added.
“Everyone at Covent Garden and the BBC was really approachable and helpful, and my family have always been really supportive, but I really owe a big thank you to Glyn’s music department.
“They work so hard for their students to ensure they have every opportunity to perform in public and try out new ideas, and this spirit of experimentation and fun came together perfectly in this competition. The staff and support at Glyn have given me every opportunity to develop my musicianship. The competition has made me even more aware of my own aspirations, and I am now doubly determined to pursue them!”.
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