This unit will give you the tools to run your own Fanfare competition for young composers.

How to run a Fanfare competition

Things to consider before you start:

  • How will students enter the competition? Remember that you will need to find a way for students who don’t play an instrument to enter, and think about any computer software (i.e. Sibelius) they could use. We use submittable to take entries.
  • How will you record the final fanfares? Our fanfares are recorded by the Orchestra of The Royal Opera House but you could use a community group or local school orchestra or could you play them live?
  • Who will your participants be and how will you find them? How many finalists will you include (we have 10 finalists but this will depend on your scale)?
  • Will you use a professional composer to work with the students? We have found this an incredibly valuable part of the competition for the young people involved. It offers them a chance to perfect their fanfare with some expert help and prepares them for working with the orchestra.
  • How can you tell people about how the fanfares were created? Do you have a programme where you can include information about the fanfares? Or use the back of tickets or a special display?
  • Where will it be heard? What impact does this have on how you will perform or play the fanfare?



This is our suggested timeline but please adapt to make it suitable for your organization.

Month 1

  • Identify and recruit your participants (you could work with local schools, orchestras, community groups etc. Consider whether you want to run any introductory workshops or create any resources).
  • Engage any artists and/or composers with the project.
  • Consider where you will use the Fanfares and ensure the correct infrastructure is in place (for example, is there space for an orchestra to perform or for your recordings to play at an appropriate volume?).
  • Establish how participants will enter the competition and set up systems accordingly.
  • Decide on criteria for the judging process and select your judging panel.
  • Create your Terms and Conditions.

Month 2-3

  • Launch competition including setting key dates and deadlines.
  • Monitor entries.
  • Arrange any development workshop sessions (if required).
  • Arranging shortlisting process and recording or performance days.

Month 4

  • Competition deadline.
  • Shortlisting process.
  • Brief judges and select finalists.
  • Announce winners.

Month 5

  • Deliver workshops for finalists (including meeting with professional composer if required).
  • Arrangements/orchestration process begins.

Month 6

  • Record the winners’ fanfares (if required).
  • Launch/performances of fanfares (including a celebration for winners).



Our Fanfare resource pack and supporting materials are available to download at the bottom of the main ROH Fanfare page. 

Fanfare Trailer

What is a Fanfare?

Introduction to Fanfares