Another Carefully Composed Coup by Nadia

Local music teacher hit the high notes for the third year running

Nadia playing the piano at St Michael & All Angels

The Overnight Success That Took 20 Years - We talk to Clive McDaid and Andy Knapp of The Parish Music Box

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Nadia Cripps, a professional musician - piano teacher, accompanist, composer and songwriter, from Chiswick, has now hit the high notes for the third year running, as yet another of her compositions, "Dancing Snow", has reached the finals of the UK Songwriting Contest 2010.

All six compositions she submitted to this year's contest achieved different degrees of success - two other songs reached the semi-finals and three received a certificate of commendation. Nadia composed the winning music, "Dancing Snow", as a piano piece, and then collaborated with Kristian Børresen who added additional instrumentation and created a beautiful demo.

Nadia, who has an MPhil in Composition awarded in 2000 by King Alfred's College Winchester, says "All my compositions are like babies to me and every single one I love with all my heart. But if I had to choose a favourite I think "Dancing Snow" would be up there amongst my top three".

"Dancing Snow" was supported this year by two semi-finalists, "Snowflakes" - a piano composition, and Thoughts Away, a co-written song with the exotically-named Russia Saturn who wrote the lyrics and sang her vocals as well as three co-written commended entries.

Nadia regularly works with other composers, lyricists and artistes to produce her finished recordings. But in 2008 she was particularly thrilled when "Gone With The Wave" (a tribute to the Tsunami victims of 2004 and the first of her songs for which she herself wrote the lyrics) was a finalist.

This is Nadia's sixth year of entering the contest, and every year her compositions have impressed the judges. With three semi-finalists in 2005, one in 2006, four in 2007 and seven in 2008, anyone would be impressed. But then her compositions started to claim finalist certificates, still supported regularly by yet more semi-finalist successes and commended entries. Some of them were songs Nadia composed with her collaborator Christine Molloy Siddaway (Nadia created music to 18 lyrics composed by Christine).

"I spend a lot of my free and not so free time creating my music and collaborating with other people," she added, "Sometimes I stay up late at night composing, or occasionally songs will come to me during the night, but I don't want to disturb my husband by writing them down.
Sadly I often forget them by the morning. But the semi-finalist "Snowflakes" was one that came to me literally in a dream and it stayed in my memory until I could write it down in the morning."

Nadia's music is very varied, but is mostly based on classical traditions and tends to be romantic, gentle and melodic. She draws her inspiration from baroque, classical and romantic composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Grieg, but also from classic popular music such as ABBA, the Beatles and Roy Orbison. She also plays live in schools, churches and other venues, and has published over thirty articles on various composers and their works.

Although Nadia works on her compositions continually until she is happy with them, she is not always happy with the recordings she produces, and has some songs which she thinks could sound much better and have a better chance with some improvement. Although she bemoans the fact that she does not have a good singing voice herself, she has been very fortunate to find some amazing singers like Julia Deuhurst, Lisa Byrnes and Gemma Louise Edwards who have sung most of the songs that she's entered into the contest over the years.

Her compositions are written in different genres including theatre/stage, ballad, country and children's songs, and she would like her music to be used in movies, theatre productions, radio programmes and documentaries. Some of her music has already been used for videos and slideshows on the web, and set to poetry and read by Richard Blum. She is always looking for collaborators, singers, guitarists and drummers who would be interested in creating and performing songs with her, and is keen to contact publishers, filmmakers and record labels who might be interested in her work.

Nadia and her husband Tony have been married for 15 years, and they have two children, Ben and Max. "My family is my priority and I'd never put them second to anything," she explained, "but thankfully they all support me in my music-making, as do my mother and my brother.

Nadia's songs are available to listen to online at a number of websites, but they can be primarily found at:

Nadia is always interested in feedback and in collaborations so please use the contact methods at thee sites to let her know what you think of her music and whether you would like to collaborate with her.

July 1, 2010