As a composer there must be nothing better than to hear your original work played by talented musicians. Andover College student and composer Catherine Upfold had this ambition realised recently when one of her compositions was played by members of the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra (HCYO) during their recent New Year Concert at Winchester Cathedral.
Catherine’s composing abilities have previously been recognised by Hampshire Music Service who gave her a Composition Award for Exceptional Ability. As one of three young composers from around Hampshire, Catherine was asked by director Carl Clausen to compose an original linking piece to be played between two movements of Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons. The Hampshire County Youth Chamber Orchestra, of which Catherine is principal viola, performed selected movements of the work by award-winning composer Richter.
Catherine’s piece was composed as a link between the Summer III and Winter II movements, written for percussion ensemble and French horns. The piece begins with two ‘off-stage’ French horns, and passages feature the unusual sound of a bowed vibraphone. She is used to having her work played publicly with a number of performances locally, including at the Anvil, Basingstoke, already under her belt.
Commenting on this latest achievement Catherine said: “It was amazing hearing my music come to life, especially in a venue as special as the cathedral. I’m hugely grateful to Carl Clausen and the talented musicians who made this happen.”
Catherine has also recently been shortlisted to receive support from the Martin Read Foundation, a charity set up to support and encourage young composers. It was founded in memory of Martin Read, an inspirational composer and teacher who passed away suddenly in 2012. As one of Martin’s former pupils, Catherine is looking forward to developing her skills further with the support of the foundation. The second annual Martin Read Festival will take place on the 29th March, which will provide another opportunity for young composers’ music to be heard.
When not composing original pieces of music Catherine is an A Level student at Andover College. Last year she achieved straight A’s in A Level in Maths, Music and Chemistry (A*) and is currently studying A Level Physics, Further Maths and an Extended Project in Housing Design.
Next year, Catherine is planning to study Chemistry at degree level and has four university offers. She intends to continue to compose and play music in her spare time.
For further information on the A Levels and other courses offered at Andover College, please go to www.andover.ac.uk or call 01264 360000.