Young composer Oscar writes a winning tune

MUSICAL GENIUS: Bega High School's Year 8 student Oscar Gill performs a piece on piano while playing in his school's music rooms. Picture: Albert McKnight

MUSICAL GENIUS: Bega High School's Year 8 student Oscar Gill performs a piece on piano while playing in his school's music rooms. Picture: Albert McKnight

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was known for writing music from an early age, and the Bega Valley now has its own young composer who is becoming recognised for his talents.

“I found I had a knack for music when I was five,” 13-year-old Oscar Gill said.

“I had meditation sessions at preschool, then I would come home and try and play the music we listened to on piano!”

The Tantawangalo resident has been selected to participate in the annual Fanfare Competition, one of eight chosen out of over 100 entries from around the country.

“When I found out I was like, ‘oh, that wasn’t supposed to happen,” he said. 

“But when I thought about entering, winning was a risk I was willing to take!” 

The Fanfare Competition invites young Australians aged 12 to 21 to submit a 30-second piece of music to be played to assist the cue bells at the Sydney Opera House.

The eight selected composers workshop their compositions with the Australian Youth Orchestra and renowned Australian composer Nicholas Vines.

Oscar’s piece is titled The Horses’ Fanfare and was inspired by Rossini’s William Tell Overture.

It is about horses quickly pulling a carriage past cheering crowds with a member of royalty inside.

The Year 8 Bega High School student - who plays bass clarinet, piano, recorder and “a teensy bit of trombone” – is the first from the school to be selected for the competition. 

Music runs in the family, as his mother is trumpeter Helen Gill who performs in the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, and he often composes tunes. 

While he used to write short pieces one of two minutes long, a year ago he started creating longer works. 

“Now they are starting to sound good, I’m understanding how music moves together,” he said.

When composing, he writes music on a software program then listens to it again and again to try and improve it.

“I think of past music I’ve listened to, put it in, mix it up then listen to it over and over to perfect it,” Oscar said. 

What he likes most about music is the range and possibilities of what you can do with it. 

“Also the fact that everyone can enjoy it and when you play it to people they say ‘wow, you’re so cool’ and like you for it,” he said. 

“I just want to make music and listen to it, but basically I don’t have much of a plan, I’ll just let fate drag me along.” 

Oscar travelled to Sydney for a workshop for the competition last weekend and will do so again in three weeks. 

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