Published on November 1, 2018

What started with a love a reading, soon inspired an orchestral composition that took Mitchell Parish (Year 7) on a journey beyond his wildest dreams.

Inspiration comes from the most unusual places so when it struck Mitchell after reading the best-selling book series The Ranger’s Apprentice by New York Times bestselling author John Flanagan, he set to work composing a piece of music befitting of the books.

Mitchell and John chat about books and music


Mitchell entered his piece into the HVGS Composition Competition and on the night of the HVGS Symphony Orchestra Concert he found out his composition had won.

What happened next is best described by Mitchell as “one of the best days of my life”.

After hearing about Mitchell’s award-winning composition, John Flanagan decided to take time out of his very busy schedule to visit the School to hear the composition performed by the HVGS Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Mitchell. John spoke to students and took questions from a student panel while he was here.

“The best part of this whole experience was just to casually chat to John before the performance and to ask him a few questions about the books and for him to ask me about the music,” Mitchell said.

John Flanagan chats with students


It was a magical experience for Mitchell, to have his piece performed for the author of the books that were so inspirational to him.

“This opportunity has made me feel like I can pursue my dream, that I can write new pieces with confidence. In the future I see myself composing music for films or advertisements and now I feel like I can achieve anything that I set my mind to.”