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Sparke wins major award

Composer Philip Sparke has won a major compositional award in the USA, plus the nice little Xmas prezzie of $4000.

Philip Sparke


Philip Sparke will have an additional reason to celebrate this Christmas as he has recently returned from the United States after winning the prestigious William D. Revelli Memorial Composition Award held as part of the Chicago and Mid West Wind Ensemble Convention in Chicago, Illinois.

The competition attracts wind and concert band composers from throughout the world, but it was Philip’s wind band arrangement of his thrilling ‘Music of the Spheres’ originally written for the YBS Band at the 2004 European Brass Band Championships that saw him take the $4000 first prize and add his name to an illustrious list of former winners.

It is such a high quality competition that it is a great honour to win it, whilst it also enables my music to attract a higher profile in a very competitive arena of music making in the United StatesPhilip Sparke

Those winners include such names as last year’s winner Joseph Turrin as well as many composers who have gone on to write major film scores for many Hollywood films.

High quality competition

Philip was obviously delighted when 4BR spoke to him and he commented that the award will enable his music to gain a much higher profile in the largest wind band market in the world. “I’m thrilled to have won the award, especially as I was able to be on hand to collect it at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago last week,’ he told 4BR. “It is such a high quality competition that it is a great honour to win it, whilst it also enables my music to attract a higher profile in a very competitive arena of music making in the United States.”

High praise

Philip had to send in a professional recording of his work to be assessed by the judges, and it had to be done anonymously as well, complete with full score. The work had to be composed after January 1st 2003, and Philip was fortunate that the Osaka Municipal Symphonic Band had recorded the work in Japan a few months ago. The composition drew high praise from the adjudicators and gave Philip his second prestigious wind ensemble compositional title following on from the Sadler Prize he won in 1997.

Philip however has not been resting on his laurels and has been putting the finishing touches to his latest work—this time for the inaugural English National Championships next year, a work that perhaps may also find its way into the wind ensemble repertoire as well.


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Jack Capstaff

Bmus (Hons)
Conductor | Composer