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BBC Proms Inspire

BBC Proms Inspire Competition and scheme

Find out about BBC Proms Inspire: our free Competition and scheme for young composers.

BBC Proms Inspire provides 12 to 18 year olds with a friendly platform to meet other young music-makers, share ideas and develop their musical creativity, while learning from some of the UK’s top composers and musicians. If you are 12 to 18 years old and want to create your own music, read on to find out how BBC Proms Inspire can help you along your journey.

Find out about the Inspire scheme

To join the BBC Proms Inspire scheme click here. In doing so, you are subscribing to the Get Involved newsletter to receive regular updates about the Inspire scheme and other opportunities with the BBC Proms, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and BBC Singers.

The BBC Proms Inspire scheme offers:

  • Monthly information about offers and opportunities for young composers from Inspire and friends via our newsletter
  • Priority booking to free Inspire Sessions led by professional composers and free professional development opportunities for secondary school music teachers
  • Exclusive ticket offers to BBC Orchestras and Choirs concerts across the UK and the BBC Proms
  • Access to a thriving community of music-makers at all stages of their journey, with invites to friendly networking events and opportunities to collaborate on projects
  • Access to a range of online information and resources for teachers and young people looking for musical inspiration

"Being a part of the BBC Proms Inspire scheme has opened up incredible opportunities to work alongside professionals and other young composers, as well as increasing my confidence and love for music – I would truly encourage anyone with a passion for composing to apply." Sarah Jenkins, Inspire Ambassador and 2017 Inspire Competition winner

“BBC Inspire is a brilliant scheme which invites young composers of all ages and abilities to get involved, no matter what style or genre you write in. There are great workshop days with professional musicians at the top of their game, as well as the BBC Proms Inspire Competition.” Kerry Andrew, Inspire Competition judge 2019

We run a range of Inspire events throughout the year in different locations across the UK. Inspire Sessions are free of charge workshops, projects and talks bringing together 12 to 18 year olds, leading composers and other industry professionals to provide an insight into different aspects of music-making. We also run an annual Inspire Day in London during the BBC Proms season a well as professional development opportunities for secondary school music teachers.

Sign up to our Newsletter to be the first to hear about upcoming events. In doing so, you are subscribing to the Get Involved newsletter to receive regular updates about the Inspire scheme and other opportunities with the BBC Proms, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and BBC Singers.

The BBC Proms Inspire scheme brings together some of the UK’s brightest young talent to meet, explore and share ideas at workshops, concerts and events throughout the year. The scheme has provided a platform for talented young composers including previous competition winning and highly commended entrants Shiva Feshareki, Kate Whitley, Tom Harrold, Alissa Firsova, Mark Simpson and Duncan Ward.

Winning and highly commended composers are also invited to become part of a growing team of Inspire Ambassadors, giving our alumni a chance to continue a relationship with the BBC Proms beyond the age of 18. Our current Ambassadors are:

Alexia Sloane
Anna Disley-Simpson
Electra Perivolaris
Ellis Howarth
Grace-Evangeline Mason
Isabel Wood
Louie McIver
Max Bilbe
Miriam Chapman-Rosenfield
Morgan Overton
Oliver Buckland
Rebecca Farthing
Rob Jones
Sam Rudd-Jones
Sarah Gait
Sarah Jenkins
Sofia Swenson-Wright
Sylvia Lim
Tammas Slater

"Inspire has opened up incredible opportunities to work alongside professionals. It has inspired me to continue composing and has given me confidence to pursue a career in music. Always be true to yourself and write the music that you feel inside you, whatever the style. Listen to as much music as possible and keep an open mind."

Sarah Jenkins is an Inspire Ambassador who was highly commended in 2016 and a senior category winner in 2017. You can listen to her winning piece here, her BBC commission here and a more recent commission for the BBC Concert Orchestra here.

"I have three pieces of advice for young composers: 1) Do not worry if your music doesn’t sound or look like the styles of music you listen to. At worst, you haven’t found the genre it fits into yet. At best, you are creating something entirely new! 2) Listen widely. Expose yourself to as much music as possible, to find what you connect with. 3) Both of those points lead to what I think is the most important: write music you like! It’s fine to experiment and it’s fine for experiments to go wrong, but those experiments have to come from a place within yourself."

Morgan Overton is an Inspire Ambassador and Upper Junior category winner in 2016. You can listen to his winning piece here and his BBC commission here. You can also read more tips and advice from Morgan on our Proms tumblr page here.

If you wish to ask a question to our Ambassadors (whether about the Inspire Competition or more generally about your own music), feel free to send an email to getinvolved@bbc.co.uk and we will pass it on.

If you have any questions about the Inspire scheme please contact a member of the team by emailing getinvolved@bbc.co.uk or calling 0207 765 0557 during office hours (10am-5pm). Standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply.

If you’re a teacher or music education professional who would like to speak to a member of the Proms team about how we can support you and your students, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Find out about the Inspire Competition

The annual BBC Proms Inspire Competition offers 12 to 18 year olds across the UK the chance to have their music performed by professional musicians at the BBC Proms and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Not only this, winners of the Competition are also commissioned by the BBC to create more new music with guidance from a professional composer. The Competition is judged in three age categories (12-14, 15-16 and 17-18) and up to two winners can be selected in each. Each year we welcome applications from anyone aged 12 to 18 who is creating their own original music in the UK, regardless of genre and whether you see yourself as a composer or songwriter or use acoustic instruments or electronically generated sounds. What we are looking for is a spark of originality and creativity!

Entry to the BBC Proms Inspire Competition closed on 23 May 2019. We will be announcing details about the 2020 Competition in January.

Each year entries are judged by a panel of leading composers and music industry professionals who are passionate about finding and developing young talent. The 2019 Competition judges were composers Joanna Lee, Matthew Kaner, Daniel Kidane, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Errollyn Wallen and Director of the Proms, David Pickard.

Congratulations to this year’s winning and highly commended entrants!

Winners

Lower Junior Category (12-14 years)
Madeleine Chassar-Hesketh, Cycle of the Sun
Jacy De Sousa, Alien Attack - Opening Sequence

Upper Junior Category (15-16 years)
Daniel Liu, Melodie
Helena Paish, Twilight

Senior Category (17-18 years)
Sasha Scott, Humans May Not Apply

Highly Commended

Lower Junior Category (12-14 years)
William Everitt, Olympians
Ruhan Verma, Ta Ta Toi
Jack Marley, The Sky is falling to the Earth

Upper Junior Category (15-16 years)
Owen Spafford, Warp and Weft
Joshua Tidd, Spicy Jalapeno

Senior Category (17-18 years)
Lilly Vadaneaux, The Cloths of Heaven
Nathan Hough, You and You Alone

Events and resources

Listen and discover