Guildhall Young Artists Online Young Composers

Enquire about Young Composers
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Key information:

Course dates:
Group Workshops: Wednesday evenings
Course times:
Group Workshops: 5.30pm–7.00pm
Art form:
£500 per term
Level of study:
Short Courses & Summer Schools, Workshops & Saturday Centres (under 18)
Mode of study:
Contact details:

Course info

About Young Composers 

This is a unique opportunity for composers aged 14–18 to receive one-to-one tutoring, undertake workshops and hear their own composition performed by staff and students from Junior Guildhall and Guildhall School.

Who is it for?

Students aged 14–18 working towards GCSE or A Level Music and/or students hoping to enhance their composition skills outside of an exam environment.

Please be aware that the course is not GCSE/A-Level exam board specific. 

What can I expect? 

You will work with an experienced composition teacher on a one-to-one basis, in addition to taking part in an introductory and closing workshop led by esteemed Guildhall staff. The final workshop will include an opportunity for course tutors to explore and perform student compositions and offer valuable feedback.

Course Outline 

Term one
You will begin to develop your own writing style by composing for two instruments. Previous years have seen students writing for instruments such as flute and harp duo. 

Term two
You will continue to develop as a composer through working with lyrics and setting text to music by writing for solo voice and piano.  

Term three
You will conclude the year by culminating your skills by writing for small ensemble. Previous years have seen students write for horn, clarinet and violin.  

Please note that class content could be subject to change.

Course Workshop Dates 2024/25

Autumn Term Dates 2024
Opening Workshop – Wed 25 September 5:30PM BST 
Closing Workshop –  Wed 4 December 5:30PM GMT 

Spring Term Dates 2025
Opening Workshop – Wed 15 January 5:30PM GMT
Closing Workshop – Wed 26 March 5:30PM GMT  

Summer Term Dates 2025
Opening Workshop – Wed 30 April 5:30PM BST
Closing Workshop – Wed 9 July 5:30PM BST

About the Course Tutors

The course leader is Paul Whitmarsh and the workshop leader is Jeffery Wilson.

Individual composition tutors will be from Junior Guildhall and greater GYA network.

Jeffery Wilson
Jeffery is Coordinator and Professor of Composition at Junior Guildhall, Professor of Saxophone at the Royal Military School of Music and an examiner for the music faculty at Cambridge University.  

He was a principal examiner in Jazz for Guildhall School for many years and is now adviser and examiner for Trinity College London.  

He studied at the RCM, Cambridge and Paris and numbers among his teachers John Lambert, Herbert Howells, Gordon Jacob, Aladar Majorossy and Olivier Messiaen. His performances and recordings range from jazz to classical and contemporary and he performs regularly with ‘Saxology’, ‘Triptych’ and for his own project ‘The Reduced History of Jazz’. 

Of his more than 200 works in the repertoire, about half are published.  

Paul Whitmarsh
Paul teaches in the composition and academic music department at Guildhall School, and composition at Wells Cathedral School.

Paul read music at Clare College, Cambridge, before studying composition with Julian Anderson at the Royal College of Music. Music education is a huge passion, one that has its roots in three years as Composer-in-Residence at Bedford School between 2002 and 2005, and three subsequent years as Maingot Trust Fellow in New Music at The Warehouse, London.

Paul Whitmarsh’s music has been performed at many festivals throughout the UK, including Aldeburgh, Spitalfields, Cheltenham, Deal, Hampstead and Highgate, Tête à Tête, the bmic Cutting Edge series, and the Park Lane Group New Year Series. Recent commissions include Lullaby for Choir and Organ magazine, premiered by the Joyful Company of Singers in 2010; Pealing Out, premiered by the Galliard Ensemble in 2009; and Berceuse in a Box for the 2007 Cheltenham Festival.

His compositions have also been performed by, amongst others, Elizabeth Watts, Huw Watkins, David Campbell, Alexandra Wood, Daniel Becker, Chroma, and the Warehouse Ensemble.

Do I need anything?

  • The means to notate your music and share it with teachers and instrumentalists. This can be done with notation software (such as Sibelius, Dorico or Musescore), or on manuscript paper that is scanned and uploaded ( may assist).
  • A reliable internet connection
  • A computer/laptop/tablet with a microphone and a camera.
  • Your browser fully updated to be able to use the most recent version of Zoom (if using an Apple device we recommend installing an alternative browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla).

Please ensure you are able to work in a well-lit and quiet environment so that your tutor is able to fully assess your work and performance.

Course information

Please see information about our course fees, term dates, absences and notice period below. 

Benefit from Guildhall Young Artists membership

As a member of GYA Online, you can expect exclusive opportunities, performances and workshops, including competitions, invites to concerts and gigs and performances from students at Guildhall School.