Sidney Barron has won the Top of the South Young Composer’s Competition. Photo: Kate Russell.

Sidney scores a win


It was a proud moment for 17-year-old Sidney Barron hearing the Nelson Symphony Orchestra playing his original composition.

The Nelson College student won the orchestra’s very first Young Composer’s Competition and they performed his piece at their final 2018 concert on Saturday night at the NCMA.

The purpose of the competition is to encourage secondary students in the Top of the South to compose music for a symphony orchestra.

“Having an orchestra perform your piece is something that very rarely gets to happen for a young composer. So, it was exciting,” Sidney says.

His winning composition, entitled “Yangjiang Overture”, is an ode to a recent cultural exchange to Nelson’s sister city in China, Yangjiang.

“It inspired me to write a piece based on the nature and the cultural aspects that New Zealand and China share.”

The budding young composer, who plays both the piano and trumpet, says he was “very excited” to hear he had won.

“There was quite a high number of quality entries, so it was good.”

Sidney also played keyboard in Nelson College band Ivasa, which won the regional final of the Smokefreerockquest.

He started playing the piano four years ago.

Sidney describes his own musical tastes as “broad”.

“I like jazz, and I like Debussy. I’m also inspired by Douglas Lilburn.”

The judges said that Sidney’s string writing was particularly effective.