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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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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.

Gav,  thank you for your time and efforts, this was a healthy challenge with

some inspired results. I personally was more rewarded by receiving the votes

for "most firework-y" than placing. To me, that was the focus- but the range

of interpretations of the theme was very creative.

On a side note, the timing of the last two contests had them ending a bit after

the seasonal or holiday peak points. Winter ended in early spring and  Fireworks

well past the 4th of July. Just sayin'... the impact and interest might be enhanced

if the contests coincided with the high-tide if you know what I mean.  RS

 

Gav, you've done such an amazing job organizing this together!  It was such an amazing experience and provided everyone the opportunity to express themselves!  I am touched to see that people enjoyed my music but I more impressed by everyone else for their compositions!  The shear amount of people who signed up to write music really got me!  Really excited that people got to participate and thankful for so many music-lovers!  You all composed such intricate and genius works of art!  

To the contestants: I am very gratified with the results of this contest, particularly I am gratified that each contestant got one comment or more on their entries.  The comments are to me as important or maybe even more important than the actual votes. It's a tough thing to create an original composition which you place in competition with your peers (everyone on this site). I got 1 comment on my entry, which meant a lot to me. Many of you got comments which I bet you appreciated as much! I have run contests on this site for several years,  and this one got the second highest amount of votes -29. The only contest which received higher votes got 30. That is a small difference. Congrats again to the winners!

Gav, I feel sorry that you only got one comment. I wish I could've commented on pieces I didn't necessarily vote for. As I mentioned previously, I enjoyed your entry. It is distinctively in your style, and I instantly picked up that it was you. I felt it was a little on the short side -- perhaps it could've been made more substantial, the themes developed a little more. Nevertheless, it's a nice, self-contained, modern piece that works quite well as a celebratory wedding march, maybe even with fireworks in the background.

H. S.,

You have nothing to apologize for. I appreciate this comment that you have just made. The comment that I did get on the contest meant a lot to me as well. Every single person's comment on any of my works means a tremendous amount to me. Thank You!!

Gav

Looking over the results, and especially the way in which they were collated and shared (particularly the comments), I wanted to just re-affirm what I said before, perhaps in a bit more detail and more emphatically:

Gav has done an outstanding job of organizing the contest, and making sure that all the information contestants needed and wanted was available, from beginning until the end.

He showed himself in this endeavor to be meticulously honest, sincere and straightforward, as well as helpful to all.

He deserves a round of applause.

H.S. apologized for not making full use of the comments section, and I would also like to apologize for the same error on my part.   I wish now I had availed myself of that aspect of the software, which I inadvertently misunderstood.  Like several others, I was a bit confused by the limitations of the software, with regard to the possibility of voting more than one person's work as outstanding or number one in more than one category. 

But that's of no matter, given the full dimensions of the contest and its overall benefits, simply by the interest it generates for the participants.  

Thank you again, Gav

(All this said, regardless of conversations in other venues, where we might not see exactly eye to eye ... Please consider those discussions as entirely separate.)

I want to add one more comment on this post. Everyone who composed for it is to be commended. You eleven composers took up a challenge and you rose to it. Kudos to all of you!

Roger thanks on your comments and special and personal congratulations on your win. You deserve it!

roger stancill said:

Gav,  thank you for your time and efforts, this was a healthy challenge with

some inspired results. I personally was more rewarded by receiving the votes

for "most firework-y" than placing. To me, that was the focus- but the range

of interpretations of the theme was very creative.

On a side note, the timing of the last two contests had them ending a bit after

the seasonal or holiday peak points. Winter ended in early spring and  Fireworks

well past the 4th of July. Just sayin'... the impact and interest might be enhanced

if the contests coincided with the high-tide if you know what I mean.  RS

 

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