Musical success for Lancaster's Ripley alumnus Pip

Ripley St Thomas's new music apprentice has been awarded a top prize in a coveted national music competition.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 12:30 pm
Pip Alpin, Ripley Music Apprentice and winner of the Audience prize for ORA Composer Competition, practicing his piece in Ripley Music department.

Pip Alpin from Warton, who recently completed his A-levels at the school, was awarded the Audience prize in the ORA Composer Competition - a national scheme aimed at helping state-school students develop their composing skills via free one-to-one tuition with expert composers, and a workshop with ORA Singers, a world-renowned and award-winning vocal ensemble based in London.

During the live stream of the final at Holy Cross Church, St Pancras, London, Matthew Beale, CEO of ORA, said: “We had a huge amount of entries from all corners of the UK from which we selected 30 youngsters.

"This was then narrowed down to 10 finalists who then have 10 hours of free 1-1 mentoring with the task of writing a new choral piece as a reflection of a measured masterpiece.”

This live streamed concert in front of a small live audience showcased the 10 finalists completed pieces, sung by ORA Singers.

Gareth Malone chaired the panel of expert adjudicators, who chose the winners.

Ripley was also thrilled that renowned conductor Oliver Tarney, also an alumnus of Ripley St Thomas, was conductor for the event.

Pip said: “Mr Gillthorpe, Director of Music at Ripley, told me about the opportunity and I applied with my A-level composition as a showcase, together with a personal statement.

"This was selected for the top 10. I was assigned mentor Kim Porter, where we chose three pieces to write a reflection and interpret the music, melodies and ideas into my own musical voice. I chose Musica dei donum optima by Orlando Lassus. I was thrilled to receive one of the top three prizes so thank you to the audience on the night!

“This has given me the chance to work with impressive composers, peers and mentors and has helped a lot in looking at composition and having this piece in my portfolio is a real asset.

"One of the panel, Jack Pepper, chose my piece to play on his radio show ‘Jack Pepper’s Culture Bunker’ on Scala Radio which has given me a real boost. I am looking forward to my apprentice role at Ripley for the next academic year and hopefully will be applying to read music at Cambridge in the future.”

Coincidentally, all three prizewinners came from the Lancashire area, highlighting the emerging young musical talent evident across the county.