High School Composition and Songwriting Contest Results

Congratulations to the following winners and runners up of this year’s Don Wright Faculty of Music High School Composition and Songwriting Contest at Western University.


Grand Prize: Logan Ouimet (pictured above, left)
Runner Up: Alvin Aung
Runner Up: John Waterfield


Grand Prize: Alyssa Zahtila (pictured above, right)
Runner Up: Una Roulston
Runner Up: Paige Ashley

In addition to cash prizes, the winners and runners up in both categories were offered a lesson or coaching opportunity at the Don Wright Faculty of Music.

Faculty member judges were impressed by the exceptional level of skill and creativity demonstrated by all the top winners and shared feedback on the winning entries:

Composition category results, with feedback from professor Omar Daniel:

Logan Ouimet: “Both 'Theme for a Far Flung Fairy' and 'Trial by Fire' show considerable expertise in counterpoint and inventive harmonic language. Logan has a rich understanding of the idiom of classical music, and his control of substantial musical forces is excellent. Idiomatic use of instruments and clear formal design contribute to compelling, inventive, and satisfying music.”

Alvin Aung: “Striking harmonic language, phrase design, and texture create a unique listening experience in both 'Funeral March in Memory of the Victims of the Spring Revolution' and 'Sinfonietta no. 1'. Additionally, very advanced use of the Digital Audio Workstation to create convincing instrumental mock-ups.”

John Waterfield: “Clarity of musical material and musical structure was evident in both 'Nocturne in B minor' and 'First Flight'. A focused listening experience was created by the distilled and clear approach to composing. Excellent, idiomatic writing for piano and violin.”

Songwriting category results, with feedback from professor Norma Coates:

Alyssa Zahtila: “‘Cody’ showed good representation of the pop/rock idiom, unusual lyrics for the genre, good expression of topic.”

Una Roulston: “Ukulele worked well. Lyrics were excellent and original, not a sad break-up song like most of them, but a more complicated tale of revisiting the same place during different circumstances. Of course, teenage girls would sing about sad break-ups as do many pop stars.”

Paige Ashley: “ ‘Digging My Own Grave’ showed great representation of the pop idiom. After I listened to it, the refrain became an earworm.”

Related links

Popular Music Studies degree program at Western University

Bachelor of Music degree program (including Composition)

Music Research and Composition Department