Fireworks Contest - WINNERS ANNOUNCED!!!

Contestants were asked to create a piece around the theme of Fireworks. 11 members signed up and the contest begins NOW! Deadline to vote is July 31st at 5 pm EST. Thanks to all who signed up and good luck! Members may vote here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5JL2WSF

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  • (Post 1 of 3) THE COMPOSERS REVEALED! (and how many people correctly guessed the composer)

    Composer A - Roger Stancill wrote "Freedom Rocks” (0)

    Composer B - Rudi Schmitt wrote "Quintet" (the composer corrected the name as "Fireworks Quintet”) (0)

    Composer C - Mariza Cabral wrote "There Will Never Again Be Night" (4)

    Composer D - Thomas Lange wrote "Love at Summers Fireworks Competition" (0)

    Composer E - Stephen Lines wrote "Guy Fawkes on the Prowl" (3)

    Composer F - Kim Margerum wrote "Summer 4th Fireworks" (1)

    Composer G - H. S. Teoh wrote “Threnody” (the composer corrected the name as "Threnody for the Victim of a House Fire started by a Stray Firecracker”) (2)

    Composer H - The Artist Formerly Known As Ondib Olmilnlolm wrote "A Dragon, a Phoenix and a Gnat, Caught in a Fireworks Display During a Thunderstorm over the Sumida River." (6)

    Composer I - Chris Sanchez wrote "Sketch for a Bottle Rocket" (0)

    Composer J - Michael Lee wrote "I Wish for Fireworks" (0)

    Composer K - Gav Brown wrote "Wedding Fireworks" (4)

  • (Post 2 of 3) “FUN” CATEGORIES VOTES (does not count towards who wins the contest)

    For Composer A - Roger Stancill, who wrote "Freedom Rocks” (7 votes for most firework-y) (2 votes for most unusual interpretation of contest topic)

    For Composer B - Rudi Schmitt, who wrote "Quintet" (the composer corrected the name as "Fireworks Quintet”) (1 vote for most firework-y) (2 votes for most unusual interpretation of contest topic)

    For Composer C - Mariza Cabral, who wrote "There Will Never Again Be Night" (5 votes for most melodious) (2 votes for most unusual interpretation of contest topic)

    For Composer D - Thomas Lange, who wrote "Love at Summers Fireworks Competition" (3 votes for most firework-y) (1 vote for most melodious) (1 vote for best orchestration) (2 votes for most climactic)

    For Composer E - Stephen Lines, who wrote "Guy Fawkes on the Prowl" (2 votes for most melodious) (3 votes for best orchestration) (2 vote for most unusual interpretation of contest topic)

    For Composer F - Kim Margerum, who wrote "Summer 4th Fireworks"F (2 votes for most firework-y)

    For Composer G - H. S. Teoh, who  wrote “Threnody” (the composer corrected the name as "Threnody for the Victim of a House Fire started by a Stray Firecracker”) (1 vote for most firework-y) (3 votes for best orchestration) (3 votes for most climactic) (1 vote for most unusual interpretation of contest topic)

    For Composer H - The Artist Formerly Known As Ondib Olmilnlolm, who wrote "A Dragon, a Phoenix and a Gnat, Caught in a Fireworks Display During a Thunderstorm over the Sumida River." (1 vote for most firework-y) (2 votes for best orchestration) (1 vote for most climactic) (6 votes for most unusual interpretation of contest topic)

    For Composer I - Chris Sanchez, who wrote "Sketch for a Bottle Rocket" (1 vote for most firework-y) (2 votes for best orchestration) (1 vote for most climactic)

    For Composer J - Michael Lee, who wrote "I Wish for Fireworks" (8 votes for most melodious) (2 votes for best orchestration) (1 vote for most climactic)

    For Composer K - Gav Brown, who wrote "Wedding Fireworks" (1 vote for most melodious)

  • (3rd of 3 posts) WINNERS ANNOUNCED!!!
    Members were asked to vote on their #1, #2, and #3 choices for best composition. For each #1 vote, I gave the entrant 3 points, for each #2 vote 2 points, and for each #3 vote 1 point. The most points wins! The winners of this contest are:

    FIRST PLACE - Composer J, Michael Lee, who wrote "I Wish for Fireworks" (35 points)
    SECOND PLACE - Composer G - H. S. Teoh, who  wrote “Threnody” (the composer corrected the name as "Threnody for the Victim of a House Fire started by a Stray Firecracker”) (24 points)
    THIRD PLACE - Composer A - Roger Stancill, who wrote "Freedom Rocks” (19 points)

    All the composers’ point totals are listed below along with all comments made on their pieces. Anyone who commented on any piece who wants to reveal themselves is invited to do so on this thread. I ask that the entrants to the contest not repost their works to the “Music Analysis and Critique” forum for 1 week so that discussion of the works may stay on this thread, but after that, feel free if you want to. The discussion is now open to anyone, including members who did not vote. Share what you think! Thanks to all who entered and to all who voted, you just supported classical music in an important way!

    Composer J - Michael Lee, who wrote "I Wish for Fireworks" (35 points)
    Comments: (#1 [voted for you for first] “I enjoyed the melodies in this piece, as well as the wonderful orchestration. I thought the form of the piece was very well done, with appropriate climaxes. ”) (#2 [voted for you for first] “Just...beautiful!”) (#3 [voted for you for first] “It was a difficult choice between J and D, as both made it to the top of my list. Ultimately I chose J over D because I felt it spoke to my heart more -- D was very good, but somewhat in an ideal fantasy world where everything is perfect, whereas J is something more personal, expressing a longing, a reaching out for something, and is a closer reflection of the human condition.”) (#4 [voted for you for first] “I like the nostalgic feel I get from listening to this piece. It gives me images of past wonderful memories and the desire to re-live them again, in this case, seeing fireworks again, which generally only happens during special occasions. ”) (#5 [voted for you for second] “Very well orchestrated and the melodic structure encaptures a patriotic setting”)

    Composer G - H. S. Teoh, who  wrote “Threnody” (the composer corrected the name as "Threnody for the Victim of a House Fire started by a Stray Firecracker”) (24 points)
    Comments: (#1 [voted for you for second] “Congratulations for a magnificent piece of music on a very original concept depicting a personal experience and succeeding into making it general and sharing it! ”) (#2 [voted for you for second] “Interesting story.”) (#3 [voted for you for second] “Excellent! Very well structured and orchestrated. in addition to the references to Handel, my ears heard a quote from John Williams and Wagner also came to mind in a few spots.”) (#4 [voted for you for third] “Fresh and interesting.”)

    Composer A - Roger Stancill, who wrote "Freedom Rocks” (19 points)
    Comments: (#1 [voted for you for first] “this piece felt like the 4th of July to me”) (#2 [voted for you for first] “The best representation of fireworks”) (#3 [voted for you for first] “This is the composition which best reflected the theme of the contest.”) (#4 [voted for you for second] “The only other piece I heard 'fireworks' in the music.”)

    Composer C - Mariza Cabral, who wrote "There Will Never Again Be Night" (18 points)
    Comments: (#1 [voted for you for third] “Well played - very musical but neither dynamics nor tempi changes not shown in score. Good story but not fully reflected in the score.”) (#2 [voted for you for third] “Nice piece. Nice story. Needed fireworks.”) (#3 [voted for you for third] “Best composition from a purely musical standpoint. Others came closer to addressing the theme of the contest, however.”)

    Composer H - The Artist Formerly Known As Ondib Olmilnlolm, who wrote "A Dragon, a Phoenix and a Gnat, Caught in a Fireworks Display During a Thunderstorm over the Sumida River." (17 points)
    Comments: (#1 [voted for you for first] “Congratulations for the composition as a piece of music and for capturing the ‘fireworks’ theme! It was a hard choice between you and my number 2 choice.”) (#2 [voted for you for first] “Fireworky, fresh and interesting! ”) (#3 [voted for you for first] “Congratulations for the composition as a piece of music and for capturing the "fireworks" theme! It was a hard choice between you and my number 2 choice.”)(#4 [voted for you for third] “Congratulations for the composition as a piece of music and for capturing the ‘fireworks’ theme! It was a hard choice between you and my number 2 choice. ”)

    Composer D - Thomas Lange, who wrote "Love at Summers Fireworks Competition" (16 points)
    Comments: (#1 [voted for you for second] “Good F/W effects (but not shown in score). SD rhythm too much/not sufficient variety. Mid section interesting and effective harmonies.”) (#2 [voted for you for second] “romantic storyline, good orchestration and excellent firework recreation”) (#3 [voted for you for second] “While I eventually picked J over D, D is still really good. It brings out the idea of romance at a fireworks festival very well, and is very atmospheric and successfully conveys its subject matter. ”) (#4 [voted for you for third] “I loved the piece, but I missed the fireworks.”) (#5 [voted for you for third] “Similar to ‘I Wish for Fireworks’ and has almost a cinematic feel to it”)

    Composer E - Stephen Lines, who wrote "Guy Fawkes on the Prowl" (14 points)
    Comments: (#1 [voted for you for first] “Well structured and orchestrated - good depiction of Guy Fawkes theme.”) (#2 [voted for you for third] “For 3rd place I had to choose between A, E and I. I felt A, while not a bad piece, didn't have any particularly outstanding characteristics (besides a rather strange piccolo part), whereas E and I both had more of a personality and a sense of fun. E and I were harder to choose from, as both are somewhat whimsical and quite successful at what they depicted. Ultimately, I picked E because it had more of a story to tell, even though I was more dramatic.”)

    Composer K - Gav Brown, who wrote "Wedding Fireworks" (9 points)
    Comments: (#1 [voted for you for first] “The theme has a nice uplifting feel and has a festive quality to it that is unique.”)

    Composer F - Kim Margerum, who wrote "Summer 4th Fireworks" (7 points)
    Comments: (#1 [voted for you for third] “this was a tie for me, with Composer J But D edged out as a bit more 'fireworky'.”)

    Composer B - Rudi Schmitt, wrote "Quintet" (the composer corrected the name as "Fireworks Quintet”) (6 points)
    Comments: (#1 [voted for you for second] “Really fireworky, fresh and interesting. A bit more development and it would have been my number one.”)

    Composer I - Chris Sanchez, who wrote "Sketch for a Bottle Rocket"  (4 points)
    Comments: (#1 [voted for you for first] “Only one of the two contestors that, in my opinion, had ‘real’ fireworks sounds in it.”)

  • I say, Congratulations to the winners and all who participated!  It was an inspiring competition which produced enjoyable results, and works with a variety of styles.

    AND very special thanks to Gav who obviously put a lot of hard work not only into his own work, but into keeping this contest going, and making sure everyone was informed about all developments, as well as assuring the rules and guidelines were crystal clear.

  • Well done to the winners and very well done to you Gav for all the trouble and hard work you put into this process.

    As an aside, I think their may be room for tightening-up the survey method (within the confines of Survey Monkey's limitations) to ensure the integrity of the voting system. That notwithstanding, these competitions are fun and encourage some of the lazier composers (like me) to get a grip and produce something related to a theme not of our choosing.

  • Congratulations to all winners and participants. Very enjoyable event and all pieces said something different to me.

    Thanks to Gav for organizing and making it all possible.

    It looks that I've voted for Ondib, Teoh, and Stephen in that order, and that I have guessed correctly Ondib's, Stephen's and Mariza's styles. Great fun!!!

  • Thank you Gav for setting everything up and taking it though the process.  Thanks to everyone who participated ...certainly helped me get up off my duff and write something.  I voted for composer J, as I enjoyed the cleverness in using the theme to create a longing desire (for Fireworks) in a life rather than happiness in the moment which is perhaps a typical interpretation.  Either way, the contest certainly succeeded in its true purpose in bringing a sense of community to the forum. Looking forward to what's next.  Thanks again Gav!

  • Congrats to all who entered! and to those with the most points! My top picks turned out to be the overall top 3.

    I thought “Freedom Rocks” by Roger Stancill expressed the sounds and feelings of fireworks display on a warm July night. “Threnody for the Victim of a House Fire started by a Stray Firecracker” by H. S. Teoh captured something in musical sound that I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to in some of my own pieces. "I Wish for Fireworks"by Michael Lee is a lovely work, and a creative take on the focus of the contest.

    Well done!

  • Wow. I have to say, I did not expect to make it to the top 3.  I felt that my Threnody was perhaps a bit too strange for this contest and unlikely to appeal to people, and besides there are issues with it that I didn't have time to address before the deadline. I could not believe my eyes when I looked at the thread this morning and saw my name in 2nd place.  Thanks to all who voted!!

    And thanks to Gav for doing the hard work of running this contest. Even though it was just for fun, I learned a lot -- I learned to write to a topic not of my own choosing, and to complete a piece within the allotted time as opposed to endlessly polishing it to the death or indefinitely postponing it. The Threnody also represents my first serious attempts at polytonality -- though admittedly rather limited, it represents an expansion of my musical language. Thanks to the contest, I feel that I've grown as a composer.

    I almost felt bad that I couldn't vote for more than 3 entries, since I felt that besides the top 3 that I selected ("I wish for fireworks", "Love at a summer fireworks competition", and "Guy Fawkes on the Prowl"), other pieces were also worthy of note. Kim's "Summer 4th fireworks" had a beautiful fanfare melody that I really enjoyed.  Chris Sanchez' "Sketch for a bottle rocket" was whimsical, and quite a humorous, very on-topic take on the contest subject -- in my list of candidates, it was a close call between this and "Guy Fawkes on the Prowl".  I also enjoyed "There will never again be night" -- which I immediately identified as Mariza's, given her unique and characteristic voice -- as well as Gav's wedding march (though I felt it was a little too short).

    Even though "Love at a summer fireworks competition" didn't make it to the top 3, it was actually a very close runner-up in my list for 1st place. (Maybe I'm just a hopeless romantic at heart?)  The background fireworks effects were very clever, and overall it captured the romance very well.

    The Guy Fawkes piece I also enjoyed -- I loved its overall sound, a truly interesting blend of the whimsical, the capricious sneakery and cunning, the dark undertones, and the bright, lighthearted fun.

    And last but certainly not least, congratz to Michael Lee, whose longing, yearning, exquisite melody truly captured the hearts of everyone here. I voted his entry for first place, for expressing the very human longing and reaching out, a reflection of the longing deep in every human heart reaching out for something higher and happier.

  • Congratulations to Michael, H. S., and Roger on their wins, and also congratulations again to everyone who entered and to everyone who voted! I will share an additional thought about these types of contests: I think they inspire composition. I know as a composer that when I have nothing particular in mind, it is hard to compose. But when I have a goal in mind, a theme, I can take to the task more easily. This contest was very gratifying to me, a lot of composers signed up, and we got a lot of votes compared to past contests. This contest got the 2nd most highest number of responses of any contest I have run and lots of good comments, at least one on every work. Invaluable! We composers are a small lot, and it is nice to see all of us come together on these contests and discuss the most important thing in the musical world - classical music.

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