Composition prize recognises students' fanfare for Chancellor 

For last year’s installation of our new Chancellor, Lady Justice Rafferty, a special fanfare was composed by music student Emily Compton, and performed during the ceremony by Emily and other musicians from the University. The piece titled ‘Fanfare for the New Chancellor of Sheffield University’, which you can listen to via the video to the right, was recently recognised by the Eileen Sellar’s Composition Prize.

The Prize, which celebrates a student at the University who has displayed particular accomplishment in composition, was made possible thanks to a legacy left by Mrs Eileen Sellars (BA Latin & French 1943, Dip Ed 1944). Eileen taught classics and music at Sheffield High School, and was a passionate and talented musician herself who inspired and encouraged an appreciation of music in many others.

Emily is due to graduate from the University in 2018 and is now focusing her work primarily on composition, in the hopes of going on to complete a Masters at a Conservatoire, studying composition and music for the screen.

We spoke to Emily about how she felt to have been involved and, ever the artist, she replied with some wonderful poetry.

How does it make you feel to have composed this piece?

Feelings come and feelings go,
and you never quite know what to think.

Music is a feeling more powerful and exotic,
chaotic, hypnotic, and
totally erotic
than any other feeling we know.

I guess you may say
I have strayed from the tray that has
delivered me this question,
so I guess in short,
I must retort,
with specific, terrific precision.

It made me feel happy.

For a moment or two I was focused not blue
(not ginger not violet not green)

I was happy to do what I know you few
would appreciate with crispy fresh ears.

Composing is what I love, and I love what I do.

It made me feel happy.

What would you like to say to Eileen for this support?

Thank you.

Thank you for supporting the arts.

It is difficult to get a
head start in the arts, to
kick start
not take to heart
when your work of art gets
torn apart.

But with a chin raised up to the sky so high,
It’s support like this that keeps music alive.

(…And musicians, too)

Thank you, Eileen, for this Composition Prize, and
Thank you, Eileen, for keeping the arts

We are delighted that such a wonderful piece of work, which has now been incorporated into the University’s history, has been able to be recognised in this way, and we eagerly look forward to following where Emily’s future compositional works take her.

The fanfare composed for the installation of our new Chancellor

Music student and composer of the piece Emily Crompton performing her fanfare

Eileen Sellars, the Sheffield alumna who's legacy made the prize possible

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