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Lucy Pankhurst

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Lucy Pankhurst


Lucy Pankhurst (b. 1981, England) is a composer and educator based in the northwest of England.

Dr. Pankhurst is a performance (tenor horn, 2004) and composition (2007) graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music [RNCM]. In 2020 she was also awarded a Ph.D. from the RNCM/MMU for her work focusing on contemporary applications of the traditional brass band, supervised by Adam Gorb and Dr Larry Goves.

As a composer, Lucy has received many accolades for her work, most notably in 2011 when she became the first female composer to be presented with a British Composer Award [BCA] in the Brass/Wind Band category. In Pitch Black was also the first brass band work to win a BCA. Her work has subsequently been shortlisted for the awards on four more occasions. Lucy has also been a member of the judging panel for the British Composer Awards/Novellos and adjudicated the 2019 EBBC Composers Competition.

Large-scale composition projects include commissions for the Durham International Brass Festival (Pathways - 2015), a multiple ensemble ACE-funded mixed media project at the Woodhorn Museum in Northumberland and the Sage, Gateshead (Reflection Connection – 2016). A studio-recorded version of Voices from No Man’s Land was also presented as a featured sound installation at the Women In Sound/Women On Sound (WISWOS) 2015 conference.

In 2018, Lucy was commissioned by BBC Radio 3 to create a vocal work celebrating 100 years of suffrage, with text developed with Emmeline Pankhurst’s great-granddaughter, Dr. Helen Pankhurst. The Pankhurst Anthem was recorded by the BBC Singers.

Much of Dr. Pankhurst's work as a composer relates to heritage and storytelling, ranging from mixed media installations and choral works to illustrative instrumental solos. She has a particular interest in projects that involve research and collaboration. She has composed a number of site/performer-specific works and also has a growing collection of pieces that respond to specific artistic stimuli. For example, Luminaries for euphonium and piano (commissioned by Dr Amy Schumaker Bliss in 2017) is a set of musical reflections on four revolutionary historical female figures. Examples for large ensemble are Marilyn (brass band), a musical reflection on Andy Warhol’s screenprints of Marilyn Monroe (commissioned for the 2014 Brass in Concert Festival at the Sage), Where She Sings Freely (brass band and narrator) - illustrating a poem by Clara Price (commissioned by the RWCMD in 2018) and Ticket: 250654 (wind orchestra, commissioned by BASBWE in 2013), based on the ticket number assigned to the musicians aboard the Titanic.

As a music educator and animateur, Dr. Pankhurst has composed many pieces for youth ensembles, from string orchestras to massed ‘flexible’ ensembles. Over the last 10 years, she has also developed and delivered a whole-class programme of music for KS2 beginner brass, which has led to her current work in producing Puzzle Pieces, an extensive flexible music programme for all instruments (from first access to advanced players), as part of an Erasmus+ international project.

In addition to her work in schools, she has also lectured at Huddersfield University and been a guest speaker at the University of Salford, the University of Leicester and Bath Spa University. She returns to the RNCM this year [2021] as an associate tutor in academic studies.

Works for Winds