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Southern Highlands Symphony Orchestra Composer Competition Banner

Composer Competition


First Prize $2000
Highly Commended $500

Download Application Form here
Download Composer Competition Flier PDF here

The Southern Highlands Symphony Orchestra (SHSO) is proud to announce a competition for an original orchestral work sponsored by one of our distinguished patrons, Ann Carr-Boyd AM.

The Southern Highlands Symphony Orchestra was formed in 2014 as a result of overwhelming interest in establishing a symphony orchestra in the region. The SHSO has become a significant feature of the cultural life of the Southern Highlands.

The winning composition and the highly commended prize will be performed at the SHSO Gala Event on Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July 2018.


  1. The applicant must live in the following locations: Southern Highlands, Goulburn, Nowra, Illawarra, Kiama, Kangaroo Valley, Camden, Picton, Wollongong
    In addition, any former student from these districts who is now at a tertiary institution outside these areas may also enter the competition.
  2.  The composition is open to all ages.
  3.  Orchestration: The composition should be of approximately five-minutes duration and for full orchestra. It may also be for a solo instrument/s with orchestra.
    Instrumentation: piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion: bass drum, triangle, cymbals, glockenspiel, xylophone, tambourine, snare drum, not all of which must be included. All strings.
  4.  Musical style: The work should be accessible i.e. playable & show knowledge of orchestral instruments.
  5.  Presentation: The score should be in Sibelius, Finale or a PDF format. The score should also be presented on three MP3s as well as three hard copies. These will be required for the judges.
    NOTE: The name of the applicant must not be written on the score or hard copies. Each entrant will be provided with a number when the composer application is received.
    Please ensure your name, address/email and phone details are included in the application.
  6.  Judges: The judges for the competition are:
    Ann Carr-Boyd AM,
    Dr Andrew Ford OAM
    Dr Allan Stiles
  7. How to apply: Download Application Form here
    All entries should be sent to:
    Composer Competition,The Southern Highlands
    Symphony Orchestra Inc.
    PO Box 997, Bowral 2576 NSW
  8. Closing date for entries:
    28th February 2018
  9.  Winner notification: The winner and highly commended prize will be notified mid March.
    Adjudication decisions are final.
    No correspondence will be entered into.
    The successful compositions will be performed in the Southern Highlands Symphony Orchestra’s Series 2 Gala Concerts on 30th June and 1st July 2018.
    All instrument parts must be sent to: The Librarian, Southern Highlands Symphony Orchestra, PO Box 997, Bowral by 25th April, 2018.

For more information contact: or call 0416 380 567

Scores and parts will be returned following the competition.

Persons under the age of 18 should have approval from parent/guardian.

Patrick Webb

Patrick Webb

March 2016

Patrick WebbBeing raised in the Salvation Army, Patrick has been playing brass instruments since he was 6 years old. Attending a specialist music school in Adelaide, he was invited to play in the Adelaide Conservatorium Brass Ensemble when he was 15 and then the Adelaide Youth Orchestra when he was 16. Under the tutelage of Nelson Green from the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and then Russell Davis from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Patrick gained expertise from some of Australia’s best horn players. He completed his Bachelor of Music Performance in French Horn at the Victorian College of the Arts in 1997.

As well as the Southern Highlands Symphony Orchestra, Patrick plays in other local ensembles including Brass Connections which is a brass quintet, and he regularly plays horn and trumpet at St Judes Anglican Church. He also enjoys playing in a jazz band named Shiraz Jazz. In recent years Patrick also was invited to play Mozart’s second horn concerto with the Southern Highlands Concert Band.

Judith Rough

Judith Rough

November 2015

Soprano Judith RoughJudith studied voice at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music where she won the Blanche Campbell Memorial Scholarship, The Eastman School of Music USA and the Bryn Mawr Conservatory of Music, USA.

She has extensive experience as a soloist in concert and oratorio, having performed most of the major soprano repertoire with various choirs and orchestras in Sydney, most recently Bach’s Mass in B minor, Haydn’s Paukenmesse, Bach’s Sleepers Awake and Messiah. She has recently had the pleasure and challenge of performing solo cantatas by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Pergolesi and Porpora. In the USA Judith has performed as a recitalist, and as soloist and ensemble member with the professional chamber choirs Voces Novae et Antiquae and The Lady Chapel Singers, recording with them and touring in the USA and Europe. She sang with the Mainline Opera Guild, and performed opera as part of the music education programme in Philadelphia schools. She worked as resident cantor and soloist for historic St David’s Episcopal Church, Devon, USA, and as professional soloist at St Martin’s Episcopal Church, Radnor.

Judith performs regularly in concert and recital in and around Sydney. Performances in 2014 included a performance at Government House in Hobart in the presence of the Governor of Tasmania, Opera Afloat in Association with Sydney’s Vivid festival, Bach’s solo cantata Jauchzet Gott in Allen Landen with the Highland Sinfonia, Messiah with Sutherland Shire Choral Society celebrating their 40th anniversary, and recitals at St Stephen’s Uniting Church Macquarie Street with organist Mark Quarmby (works by Porpora and Handel) and at St Jude’s Anglican Church Bowral with pianist John Martin (“An Afternoon with the Late Romantics”) as part of their classical music concert series. In 2015 she has again performed with the Highland Sinfonia and in recital at St Stephen’s and St Jude’s along with other concert performances. She is looking forward to performing Strauss’s Four Last Songs with the Southern Highlands Symphony Orchestra.

Andrew Doyle

Andrew Doyle

August 2015

Andrew Doyle August 2015Born in Sydney, Andrew began playing the violin at the age of four and the clarinet at age eight. The clarinet became his true love throughout high school and culminated in tertiary study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Andrew gained a Bachelor of Music (Performance) in 2002, and has conducted further study with prominent clarinettists in Milan and London.

Andrew is the Principal Clarinettist of The Metropolitan Orchestra, and has enjoyed many solo opportunities featuring the clarinet, including performances of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto to a sold out City Recital Hall, Sydney, Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No.1 and Rolla’s Bassett Horn Concerto.

In addition to his position with TMO, Andrew has performed with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, is a casual clarinettist/bass clarinettist with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, principal bass clarinet for the Sydney Philharmonia, and is a full-time clarinet soloist and section leader of the Royal Australian Navy Band. The highlight of his position with the RAN Band was the CD recording and release of Black Dog Rhapsody for Clarinet.

Andrew is constantly researching 18th century performance techniques, especially those related to wind instruments and the clarinet. This research has led to an invitation to present a paper about early clarinet style at the 2013 Australasian Clarinet and Saxophone Conference.

Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson

June 2015

Robert Johnson SoloistRobert Johnson studied the French Horn at the NSW Conservatorium of Music with Alan Mann, for whom the Alfred Hill Horn Concerto was written. After holding the positions of Principal Horn with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, he was appointed as Principal Horn with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 1986, a position he still holds. During his time with the SSO, he has performed as soloist in works by Mozart, Strauss, Britten and Ross Edwards on both Regional Tours and at the Sydney Opera House. He has also appeared as Guest Principal with all the major Australian Orchestras, The Australian Chamber Orchestra and the New Zealand Symphony. As a teacher he has worked as Horn Lecturer at the NSW Conservatorium of Music and Canberra School of Music and has appeared as Artist in Residence at Universities and Music Schools in Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Hong Kong.

Lisa Kawai

Lisa Kawai

March 2015


Lisa began learning the piano at the age of 4. Due to her father’s work, she spent her childhood in Toronto, Tokyo and Sydney and has learnt from many teachers in that time. Through her senior years in high school and university, she learnt from Anthony Baldwin, Elizabeth Jones and Gordon Watson. She obtained her LMusA shortly after graduating from Sydney University with a Science degree, majoring in Pure Mathematics. She then got married and her husband’s job took her back to Tokyo where she had three children and not much time to play the piano. In 2006 she and her family moved to the Highlands where she has rediscovered the joy of playing the piano. She enjoys the opportunities to play in chamber music groups, perform piano concertos with local orchestras, to accompany other instrumentalists and her piano lessons with mentor Trevor Noffke. She has also started learning the cello and is grateful for the local orchestras (Southern Highlands Symphony Orchestra and Highlands Sinfonia) to let her join. She feels privileged to play and perform with a wide variety of musicians to warm and appreciative audiences and loves all the music in the Highlands.