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"Texturally complex yet playful, Lucy Pankhurst's compositions highlight her fantastic understanding in blending technology with her studies in brass and wind instrumentation."


Immix Ensemble - Static Gallery, Liverpool                                    

                                         (Jon Davies, The Skinny, 2014)


VOICES FROM NO MAN'S LAND was the opening event for the 2014 Ageas Salisbury Arts Festival. Performed within the cloisters at Salisbury Cathedral, the project was presented as an immersive sound installation, where the stories, songs and sounds were ever-changing within the performance - seeing the events from many perspectives; both spatially and narratively. The audience were offered the freedom to move around during the performance and listen from different locations, whilst the 100 male vocal 'recruits' perform songs, trench calls and narrations based on letters, historical documents and recollections from Christmas 1914.




































In 2014, Lucy was a featured artist with the Arts Council-funded Immix Ensemble, based in Liverpool. This saw her be appointed as joint composer-in-residence with John McGrath (Liverpool University) for a project that culminated in a performance and recording in November 2014. Lucy and John collaborated on several works and performed together in the concert with Lucy’s Cantabiles, for tenor horn (with effects pedals) and guitar.





























In 2008, Lucy was asked to compose a piece for Northern Rail. In association with the Royal Northern College of Music, the work was to head a programme of music inspired by rail travel to commemorate 40 years since the ‘end of steam’; when the last steam engine travelled on British rails in 1968. 'Newton Heath Variations' utilises two brass bands, a steam train and diesel train to chronologically illustrate the journey through the life of the British railway and Newton Heath Maintenance Depot. Dr. Nicolas Childs conducted the RNCM and Wardle Anderson bands in the premiere at Newton Heath Depot to great appreciation from audience, performers and Northern rail executives alike.


























Lucy's PhD research at the RNCM focussed on the traditional British Brass Band in atypical settings. This includes the application of electronics, brass with voices and projects that challenge the traditional concert stereotype.  Examples of thi work include: STRATUM STRATUS for euphonium and baritone ensemble, 'DIP' for the A4 Brass Quartet and PATHWAYS.


PATHWAYS is a commission project for three brass bands, supported by Arts Council England, Durham County Council and the NRBBT. It was premiered in the Gala Theatre as part of the 2015 Brass; Durham International Arts Festival, featuring the Cory Band (cond. Philip Harper), the Tredegar Town Band (cond. Ian Porthouse) and the Reg Vardy Band (cond. John Roberts)The three ensembles combine into a massed band - exploring different 'pathways' through the music, as an allegorical reference to the unifying elements of the brass band movement.








As a music educator and animateur, Lucy has composed numerous pieces for youth ensembles, including 3minuteWARNING for the Foden’s Youth Brass Band/Manger Folkehøgskule and Silent Guardians (based on the myths of the Liver Birds) for the Sefton Youth String Orchestra.  Most recently, she completed a special commission for the Macclesfield Youth Brass Bands to mark their tenth anniversary. 'Brass Roots; Musical Wings' brought together all four MYBB ensembles in an 18-minute work, premiered at the RNCM as part of their anniversary concert in July 2015 (see below) The piece was also shortlisted for a British Composer Award in 2016.



She is also a dedicated teacher of brass and composition and, in additon to teachning at the University of Huddersfield, she has worked with youth ensembles and taught in local schools for the past 12 years.  Lucy has also developed and delivered a whole-class programme of music for KS2 beginner brass and is currently compiling a collection of flexible educational pieces for all instrumet families. She also regularly leads composition workshops and delivers educational music composition projects in Primary Schools in Halton and Warrington.


The latest ABRSM Brass syllabus features some of Lucy’s works, as published in the new Shining Brass books.


Lucy has been involved with several projects for the Wingates Band during her composition residency with them. These include:


'Wicked' ('Best New Composition Award, 2007 U.S. Open, Chicago)


'In Pitch Black' (2011 BCA, featured on the 2010 Wingates CD 'Perspectives of Pretoria')


'Legacy' (for David Thornton, Gary Curtin and Lewis Musson - featured on 2013 CD 'From Fifes To Fanfares - and Fame')


'Th'owfen Raconteurs' (funded by PRS for Music and also featured on the band's 2013 CD 'From Fifes To Fanfares - and Fame')


'VOX AURI' (Sounds of a Century CD -  celebrating a century of recordings)



























March 2012 saw the premiere of Lucy's 'TICKET 250654' which was dedicated to the musicians aboard the Titanic, as part of the BASBWE London Festival. In addition to her work with brass, Lucy has also worked closely with the Lunar Saxophone Quartet (based in London) which has resulted in works such as 'Diaphanousphere'; featured on the LSQ’s Flux CD and 'Folly Fantastic'; commissioned for the 2009 Deal Music Festival. 'Borealis (into blue)' for four saxophones and string ensemble, was premiered in December 2012, commissioned by the BOREALIS SAXOPHONE QUARTET, based in Manchester and features on their debut CD 'The North' (left)





























In 2010, Lucy was commissioned by international Euphonium soloist, David Thornton to create a new work for brass quintet and soloist. 'Tiamat' was premiered at the RNCM Festival of brass, received an encore performance at the ITeC in the USA and was recorded in August 2014 for the 'Parallel Realities' CD, now published by Prima Vista Musikk. David also gave the premiere of 'Susurration' for euphonium and electronics in October 2014. This is the first in a series of electroacoustic pieces for euphonium.


Brett Baker also commissioned Lucy to compose a new trombone piece for the 2014 ITF in New York. 'M6 TROLL' for solo trombone, audio track (and optional narration) was also recorded in 2015.






















































Legacy Boys wih Lucy

(L-R) Lewis Musson, Gary Curtin, David Thornton and Lucy at the premiere of 'Legacy' and 'Th'owfen Raconteurs' in 2013


Immix Ensemble in rehearsal at METAL, Liverpool November 2014

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Lucy with the Borealis Saxophone Quartet and the RNCM String Ensemble, December 2012

The brass quartet in Salisbury Cathedral, May 2014

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'May' the steam engine with Dr. Nicholas Childs and the RNCM Brass Band at Newton Heath Train Depot, July 2008

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The A4 Brass Quartet performing 'DIP' at the RNCM Gold Medal Competition

Above: MYBB Youth and Junior Bands in rehearsal

Right: The massed ensembles of MYBB performing 'Brass Roots; Musical Wings' RNCM, July 2015

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Pathways - Stage Band

Above: Cory (left) and Tredegar (right) on stage at the Gala Theatre, Durham for the premiere performance of PATHWAYS. The Reg Vardy Band were positioned around the audience to give an antiphonal music experience

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(below) Ashington Colliery, Bedlington Youth and Community, Ellington Colliery and Jayess Newbiggin brass bands, with members of the Music Partnership North Northumberland Mini Bands at the Miners' Picnic premiere of REFLECTION CONNECTION - 11th June 2016

Massed bands performance at the Sage, Gateshead - 12th June 2016

REFLECTION CONNECTION took place in June 2016 as part of a project with bait/time to (Creative People and Places) to promote artistic practice within the community and celebrating the rich heritage of brass bands within Northumberland.


Lucy worked with members of of Ashington Colliery, Bedlington Youth and Community, Ellington Colliery and Jayess Newbiggin brass bands, with members of the Music Partnership North Northumberland Mini Bands to create a mutli-media brass band spectacular - reflecting on local heritage and celebrating the future of brass in the area.

She collaborated with a team of artists; Clare Armstrong,                      Alan Fentiman and Draw&Code to run workshops and document the project from start to finish in a series of films, interviews, animations and images.


The premiere was given at the 2016 Miners' Picnic, with an encore performance at the Sage, Gateshead.


The event was also nominated for a 2017 Jounal Culture Award, with the bands invited to perform again in Hexham Abbey (below)

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The Splinters Ensemble is a new music youth collective, with  players ranging from 8-18, pre grade 1 to post grade 8. Run by Paul McGhee and Lucy (and funded by the Accent Music Education Hub) it is a unique group, offering personal challenges for the players and performance opportunities with like-minded young musicians.


The original 'Splinters' project was a collaborative commission with composer Paul McGhee for the group. Lucy and Paul worked with Chris Bastock (Director of Halton and Warrington Music Support Service) and Graham Proctor to prepare the ensemble for their debut performance as guests of Brent Music Service for their bi-annual celebration, taking place at Wembley Arena.


The group worked tirelessly for 10 weeks, memorising the music and choreography, ultimately performing in front of 7000 people at Wembley.


The group have had an amazing legacy so far, continuing with a new project each year. They gave an encore performance at the 2017 Music for Youth festival and last year premiered a bespoke ballet with dancers from the Heath School in Halton -  'Grimm Tales 2018' (a modern re-imagining of the fairy tales)


They are quickly building a reputation as an impressive contemporary youth ensemble in the northwest and are currently working on heir next big project for 2020 as well as a recording and tour in the summer of 2019.


They also have another identity, performin as the Splinters Street Band in concerts and fesivals.

The Splinters Ensemble - outside Wembley Arena before their debut performance of 'Splinters' - 6th July 2016

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In June 2017, Lucy was invited as a guest artist and speaker to the International Women's Brass Conference in Philadelphia.


She was commissioned to write two new compositions that received premieres at the conferece:  'Luminaries' (commissioned and performed by Dr Amy Schumaker Bliss) and Ouroboros (commissioned by IWBC and performed by Seraph Brass)


Lucy pictured with Seraph Brass at the premiere of 'Ourorobos'

(10th June 2017)

(above) Lucy with Amy Schumaker Bliss, IWBC 2017 at the premiere of 'Luminaries'




(right) with composers and fellow forum panellists, Faye-Ellen Silverman and Dorothy Gates

Lucy appeared at the conference alongside international brass artists such as Velvet Brown (tuba/euphonium), Monarch Brass, Joanna Ross-Hersey (tuba/euphonium). Misa Mead (euphonium), Carol Jarvis (trombone) Donna Parkes (trombone), Abby Conant (trombone), Susan Slaughter (trumpet) and Sharon Moe (horn).


Superb ensembles such as Monarch Brass, the Athena Brass Band, Seraph Brass and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra and esteemed composers, such as Faye-Ellen Silverman and Dorothy Gates


Contact Light was the second project Lucy worked on with MYBB and was premiered at the Barnaby Festival in Macclesfield. The title takes its name from the first words to be spoken by Buzz Aldrin as the lunar module touched down on the surface of the moon in 1969. Not surprisingly, the piece has a definite feel of sci-fi about it and uses a number of additional electronic media in addition to the brass band. The wonderful, inimitable Brian Blessed OBE kindly recorded narrations for the piece - guiding us through the cosmic musical journey.


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Lucy (centre) with Dr Helen Pankhurst, Hilary Campbell and the BBC Singers at Maida Vale Studios (Feb, 2018)

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The 6th February 2018 marked 100 years of women's suffrage in the UK. In commemoration, BBC Radio 3 commissioned Lucy to compose a new vocal work, featuring text by Helen Pankhurst. Helen is the great-granddaughter of famous suffreagette leader Emmeline Pankhurst and she used some of her most stirring speeches as the inspiration for the text.

The strong, moving sentiment is still very relevant today.


The BBC Singers (conducted by Hilary Campbell) recorded 'The Pankhurst Anthem' in an online premiere available to view on the BBC Radio 3 website (see left)



'The Pankhurst Anthem' was be premiered in full by the Voices of Hope at the Free Thinking Festival (Sage Gateshead) on Friday 9 March, broadcast live on Radio 3 (see left)


The Anthem has been played on television and radio in many different instrument and vocal combinations and covers.


Since its release in February 2018, The Pankhurst Anthem has received almost 100 performances across theUK.


Below: Lucy with Helen Pankhurst, Dame Eliza Carthy and the BBC Breakfast team at Manchester Peoples' Museum, March 2018

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Above: Voices of Hope (with flashmob) giving the live premiere of 'The Pankhurst Anthem' at the Sage, Gateshead conducted by Mark Edwards at the BBCR3 Free Thinking Festival, March 2018

Featured video link (click photo above): Eliza Carthy's folk cover of 'Anthem' (from the Pankhurst Anthem), featured on BBC Breakfast




Based on the award-winning poem by Clara Price, Where She Sings Freely was commissioned by the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and premiered in the Dora Stoutzker Hall on 31.10.18 as part of the 'Hemispheres' concert, featuring brass band music by female composers. The concert was one of several events arranged as a response to the RWCMD 'Women Can' duo, in celebration of #vote100.


Performance recorded by the RWCMD Brass Band, narrated by Clara Price, conducted by Dr. Robert Childs

Clara Price with the RWCMD Brass Band at the premiere of 'Where She Sings Freely', conducted by Dr Robert Childs - Oct 2018

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Lucy Pankhurst © 2021

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