Firstly, hello! My name is James and I'm new here. I wasn't really sure where this discussion belonged, so I put it here, since business of composing seemed the most appropriate. The thing is, I am currently studying music at A level and am wondering what to do afterwards... I have decided that what I would like to do most, is take a degree in music, with composition as my primary study, preferably at one of the various great conservatoirs England has to offer (I am particularly interested in Trinity, Guildhall and LCM- not technically a conservatoir, but rather a specialist college I think). Here is where my question comes in:
All of the conservatoirs require an audition and request that you send samples of your compositions (most ask for about 4, or more than 2), but I'm not sure to exactly what standard they expect my composition to be and what would best show the conservatoirs that I deserve to be there. I have asked my music teachers but they are all performers and don't really know how it would work so much... I was considering sending one orchestral piece, one for a solo instrument, one contempary orchestral piece and a piece for a contempary ensemble (such as a jazz ensemble or maybe a pop group), but I really have no idea what they want! I want to know now, so that by the time I have to apply in October, I will have had time to write the most appropriate pieces that really show off my skills as a composer. Also, does anyone know how they asess the pieces? I mean, if I send a symphonic poem making use of the enigmatic scale with lots of avant-gardeness, will they take that to mean that I'm just a little bit mad and don't know what I'm doing? Alternatively, if I send an orchestral suite with lots of I-V-I etc. will they take this to mean that I only really know about music theory and thus am not actually very creative? Any help from anyone who knows about composition degrees would be appreciated. I would be especially greatful to anyone who had first hand experience in such matters!