Herald the fanfare!

Instead of traditional bells telling audiences it’s time to take their seats, Perth Festival has collaborated with WAAPA at ECU to herald the start performances with fanfares written by students aged 15 – 25.

Four young composers were mentored by composer Rebecca Erin Smith to develop their Fanfares – which were then performed and recorded by professional musicians and students from WAAPA. Rebecca Erin Smith is a WAAPA Graduate and an award winning Australian composer who specialises in collaborative media and concert works. A Fulbright Scholar, her most recent commissions include works for Edith Cowan University, WA Youth Orchestra, Phoenix Ensemble, and GreyWing Ensemble.  

Fanfares are replacing the theatre bells at the following venues –

Cara Fesjian – ‘Fanfare for the Common Patron’
Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre
Cara Fesjian is a 25-year-old musician and researcher originally from New York. She was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus, has sung backing vocals for the Rolling Stones and works with Perth symphonies and choirs. She has won awards for her music compositions and music cognition research.

Fanfare Inspiration
When I compose, my main objective is to communicate and develop an emotional connection with the listener. For this fanfare, I imagined a soundscape that would prep people for the excitement of the Festival but also instill a sense of urgency. The trumpets start with a sharp theme that calls for everyone’s attention. The lower notes serve as the driving force under the quicker rhythmic line. Senses are heightened as the fanfare speeds up. The bells serve as a vestige of the traditional interval bells and naturally usher the audience. My vocal background inspired me to create overlaying themes and I hope this musical burst (literally) brings you back to the show!

Holly Powley – ‘Fanfare’
Rehearsal Room 1 / Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre
Holly Powley first started her formal music education at age 11 when she learned the Trumpet. As she progressed through high school music became her main focus in both performance and theory. Eventually this focus led her to move from her home town of Busselton to Perth to continue her studies. 

Fanfare Inspiration
I have always loved the brass section, being a brass player myself, so when the opportunity to write for a full brass ensemble came along I could not pass it up. Some of the fanfares I listened to, to inspire my own, included Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine and Purcell’s Fanfare.

Olivia Guelfi –‘Fanfare’
His Majesty’s Theatre and Octagon Theatre
2017 marked the completion of 21-year-old Olivia Guelfi’s first year at WAAPA, studying Composition and Music Technology. She is interested in the works of early 20th century composers such as Maurice Ravel and Francis Poulenc, and hopes to specialise in writing her own music for solo piano and orchestra.

Fanfare Inspiration
Inspired by the imagery and sounds of trumpeters who salute Royalty at Westminster, as well as the bold orchestration of pieces such as ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ by Modest Mussorgsky, and ‘The Planets’ by Gustav Holst, this fanfare was written in an attempt to encapsulate the atmosphere of these works and grab the attention of the eager festivalgoer in order to announce the beginning of the show.

Maddie Hughes – ‘Over Here! Fanfare’
Regal Theatre and Perth Concert Hall
Being a pianist and percussionist from a very young age, 19-year-old Maddie Hughes employs quirks from electroacoustic, contemporary, jazz and classical combinations, which are applied to her methods of composition and film scoring. She currently works with student and emerging filmmakers and creators to help bring their ideas and stories to life with the element of music. She has been writing scores and pieces since she was 14, being a great lover for jazz and improvisation. She has also had the pleasure of having her own compositions performed in Perth. Maddie has had great encouragement from local competitions, including being the 2017 Revel8Film Festival where she won Best Soundtrack. As a session musician she has gigged around Perth with a variety of respected Australian musos and colleagues. ​She is currently studying Composition and Music Technology at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). 

Fanfare Inspiration
The fanfare’s motif was inspired by the syllabic emphasis that’s dictated by the phrase ‘over here!’. 

This program is inspired by Fanfare programs run by Artology and the Royal Opera House.


Have a listen to the fanfare!