ORA Audience prize success for Ripley alumnus Pip

At the end of the summer term, our new Music Apprentice, Pip Alpin, who recently completed his A level study at Ripley St Thomas, was awarded the Audience prize in the coveted ORA Composer Competition -  a national scheme aimed at helping state-school students develop their composing skills via free one-to-one tuition with expert composers, and a workshop with ORA Singers, a world-renowned and award-winning vocal ensemble based in London.

During the live stream of the final on Saturday 24th July at Holy Cross Church, St Pancras, London, Matthew Beale, CEO of ORA said:

“We had a huge amount of entries from all corners of the UK from which we selected 30 youngsters. This was then narrowed down to 10 finalists who then have 10 hours of free 1-1 mentoring with the task of writing a new choral piece as a reflection of a measured masterpiece.”

This live streamed concert in front of a small live audience showcased the 10 Finalist’s completed pieces, sung by ORA Singers. Gareth Malone chaired the panel of expert adjudicators, who chose the winners. We were also thrilled that renowned conductor Oliver Tarney, also an alumnus of Ripley St Thomas, was conductor for the event.

Pip told us about his experience:

“Mr Gillthorpe, Director of Music at Ripley, told me about the opportunity and I applied with my A level composition as a showcase, together with a personal statement. This was selected for the top 10. I was assigned mentor Kim Porter where we chose 3 pieces to write a reflection and interpret the music, melodies and ideas into my own musical voice. I chose Musica Dei donum optimi by Orlando Lassus. I was thrilled to receive one of the top 3 prizes so thank you to the audience on the night!”

“This has given me the chance to work with impressive composers, peers and mentors and has helped a lot in looking at composition and having this piece in my portfolio is a real asset. One of the panel, Jack Pepper chose my piece alone to play on his radio show ‘Jack Pepper’s Culture Bunker’ on Scala Radio which has given me a real boost. I am looking forward to my apprentice role at Ripley for the next academic year and hopefully will be applying to read Music at Cambridge in the future.”

Coincidentally all 3 prizewinners came from the Lancashire area and this story presents a wonderful opportunity to highlight the emerging young musical talent evident across Lancashire.