Now that Deranged Drums on Digital Vistas has been completed what next?  The organising of a recording and premiere has to be finalised but what to do with the stream of ideas for new compositions that keep arriving each week? 

I had a request from Barnsley Youth Choir for the second part to the Beatles Collection, they premiered part one last year, and I am putting that together now.  The choir are a fantastic group of singers and volunteers and I hope they manage to collect the funds for this year’s invitation to the Youth Choir Games in Riga, Latvia as Great Britain’s representative (they need donations and sponsors, please visit the website for more details). 

That is one outlet, what about the other music I am now inspired to write?  I have been looking at composition competitions and calls for works as openings for more writing.  There are many competitions advertised each year and some of the websites are listed here:

Make sure to look at the entry conditions carefully before participating in any of these competitions as there are many with age and nationality restrictions as well as the ‘open to all’ criteria.  Another consideration is the fee that some of the competitions charge, to pay or just submit to the calls that are free of charge? 

Some other composer/bloggers have related their experiences of how they approach competitions, as well as assisted their careers, and I have included the links here.  One is from Dr. Sy Brandon: and the other is from Eric Whitacre: 

Why submit?  As well as providing the brief and a deadline for the music there is the need for supplementary information which can be useful in many other employment situations.  The 50 or 100 word biography, more difficult to create than the full version or a CV and very suitable for a social media presence, and which publicity photograph to choose?  As I am at present looking for employment all these are very necessary and having the most up to date versions makes job applications less time-consuming. 

I was planning to submit to four or five each year but already I have seen some very interesting competitions with deadlines this month so I am back to working to short deadlines with a specific brief and I am enjoying every minute of it. 

If you want to hear some of my composition please listen on SoundCloud at

© P.R.Birkby 2014


About derangeddrums

Composer, percussionist, musical director, teacher and educator. My music has been written for audiences in palaces and in the street. Music is my vocation and my passion and I hope you enjoy it too.
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