John Hopkins was my first conducting teacher and the lessons he taught me continue until this day. I am fortunate to have received the award that bares the name of him and his wife on two occasions and to have been able to bring to life two projects that reflecting the values that he instilled in me as a musician and as a human being.


The 2017 award enabled a performance of Australian orchestral works commissioned by the HUSH Foundation to be performed live in the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre by the Percy Grainger Youth Orchestra.

This memorable event promoted the tremendous work of HUSH, brought beautiful music to the patients and staff of the hospital and taught the young musicians about the role they can play in society. 


The 2019 project was created in response to the success of the 2017 HUSH project. Funds will be used to commission three new orchestral overtures from emerging Australian composers written specifically for youth or community orchestras and on an Australian theme. 

This represents a unique challenge to write a work that is within the technical commands of young musicians but that is exciting enough to inspire them to be the next generation of music makers. 


Stage 1: Expressions of interest are now open and close 30 June 2019. Finalists announced July 31st.

Stage 2: Workshop phase, late 2019.

Stage 3: Completion and premiere performance, during the 2020 season.

Composers must be able to work within these timelines.

Three proposals from Stage 1 will be selected to progress to Stage 2 and 3 by a panel consisting of Brenton Broadstock (Queensland), Maria Grenfell (Tasmania), Stuart Greenbaum (Victoria), Sarah Curro (Melbourne) and Pat Miller (Melbourne).

Please note that the panel’s decision is final and that no feedback will be possible.


To create an original orchestral work between 5 and 7 minutes in duration specifically for a youth or community orchestra, based on an Australian theme.


Maximum orchestration:

3333 4331 Timp+1 Harp or Piano Full Strings.  

Further details on request.


$1000, paid $250 on contract and $750 on delivery of final score and parts (electronically).

How to apply:

To apply, please submit the following by email (or Dropbox / Google drive as required):


  1. Current Curriculum Vitae, biography (maximum two pages)

  2. One relevant example of your work in score & recording in electronic format (pdf/mp3),

  3. Your reasons for applying for this project (maximum 200w words),

  4. The proposed theme of your work (maximum 100 words).


Applications are due 12:00pm June 30th 2019 and should be emailed to: newoverturesproject at gmail com 

Please email any questions to the same address.



The New Overtures Project is supported by the University of Melbourne Faculty of Fine Arts and Music through the Rosemary and John Hopkins Award.

© 2019 by PAT MILLER.

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