BBC competition success for young composer Tom

Tom Sparkes SUS-140723-095134001

Tom Sparkes SUS-140723-095134001

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With the BBC Proms season now up and running (from July 18), a composition by Tom Sparkes, a Christ’s Hospital pupil from Upper Beeding, has been highly commended in this year’s BBC Proms Inspire Scheme ‘2014 Inspire Young Composers’ competition open to young composers aged 12-18.

Tom’s piece, Pilgrimage, was judged by distinguished professional composers such as Stuart MacRae, Anna Meredith, Martin Suckling, Judith Weir CBE and it will be performed at the Proms Plus Inspire concert at the Royal College of Music on 20 August 2014 which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

The inspiration to pursue composition was through Tom’s participation in workshops at the New Music 20x12 Weekend, Southbank Centre where he had the opportunity to attend a one-to-one workshop with composers Emily Howard and Jason Yarde.

Currently working on an orchestral work, Tom has a growing interest in Oriental music, explored in Hokkaido Spring; a fusion of oriental and western sounds and instruments. Tom’s interest in China has recently taken him on a trip to study Chinese language and culture at the Northeast Yucai School in Shenyang with Christ’s Hospital School sponsored by the Chinese government.

From this autumn, Tom will be studying composition at the Purcell School for Young Musicians with a scholarship under the government funded music and dance scheme. At Christ’s Hospital, he was awarded a piano scholarship and was also learning the violin and organ.

He played the viola with both the School’s Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra as well as in his year group’s String Ensemble.

Deborah Sparkes, Tom’s mother said: “Tom’s achievement in the ‘Inspire Competition’ is a tribute to all the encouragement and opportunities from which he has benefitted during his memorable and life-changing years at Christ’s Hospital.”

Andrew Cleary, Director of Music at Christ’s Hospital said: “Tom is enormously talented and he has a great musical future ahead of him. It has been a privilege to teach him and we wish him all the very best.”

Report and picture contributed by Christ’s Hospital.