The Bristol Proms held a competition to write a fanfare that represents the spirit of Bristol. The requirements for the score were that it should be for three trumpets and 2-4 minutes long (which is quite long for a fanfare). The submission also had to include a 200 word statement on why it reflected the spirit of Bristol, and a score: both are posted below.

My entry didn’t make the shortlist, so I’m posting it here for posterity. I have to say I rather like it, although I suspect some bits might have been a bit silly for the judges.

Journey to Bristol

(Being a Fanfare in Three Parts)

i) At Sea on the Bristol Channel
ii) Sailing up the Avon, and under the Suspension Bridge
iii) The City of Bristol: a place full of Energy, Enthusiasm and Irreverence

Part one opens the fanfare with a celebration of Bristol’s maritime heritage: a hornpipe playing and waves rocking a ship as she heads for home. The ship turns the corner to sail up the Avon, and in part two we’re reminded of the beautiful countryside between the Severn and the city; the climactic high trumpet tune is played from Bristol’s most iconic landmark as we sail underneath. Part three is the most joyful and mischievous music I could write, since for me nothing else would do to represent the spirit of Bristol. The ending brings all these parts together in a triumphant finale.

What’s that you say? Fanfares don’t normally have a big, slow tune in the middle? You must have forgotten: Bristol always does things differently. But the spirit of a fanfare is ever-present in the background – in the horn calls, the harmonies and the rhythms.

I have previously written and performed fanfares for Lincoln (where I grew up) and Port Lincoln (played in Australia by the town band in their bicentenary celebrations). Having lived here for nearly 20 years, I’m very excited to write a fanfare for my true home, Bristol.

>> Download the score of Journey to Bristol >>