Lucy Pankhurst was born in Liverpool in 1981. Her musical education began at a fairly late stage when she took up the tenor horn at the age of 13. Her earliest musical experiences were playing in many ensembles in Warrington and Cheshire, before taking an interest in composition during her studies at the RNCM.
After completing her degree as a performer in 2004, she remained at the college to study composition, at the recommendation of her tutors who recognised her potential as a composer. Having no prior formal compositional lessons, Lucy took on every available challenge and produced many pieces during her time at the RNCM, including a commission for the 2005 Single Reed Festival, a large-scale work for Wind Orchestra (2006 BASBWE Festival) and numerous works for RNCM focus days. During this time she received tutorials from visiting composers such as Peter Maxwell Davies, James Macmillan, John Casken and Menachem Weisenberg. She completed her MMus in composition with Adam Gorb in 2007.
In 2006 Lucy was the only female composer to be awarded one of the four winning places at the RNCM Festival of Brass Young Composers Competition. Ascension for brass band was performed at the Festival of Brass as the prize. Following this, Lucy was asked to write a piece for the Brass Band Aid project, which resulted in the recording of Heed The Word! by Prairie Brass of Illinois, U.S.A. on the finished 2006 CD. This work was also performed at the 2007 Festival of Brass by the RNCM band to great appreciation. In 2006, Lucy also recorded her solo arrangement of For Your Eyes Only with the Leyland band as part of a new 60th anniversary CD project, commemorating the work of arrangers and composer who had worked with the band during its inception.
As a tenor horn player, Lucy is very keen to promote new music for the 'endangered species' of brass instruments. Lucy has written works for Owen Farr, Tubalatè, Scherzo Brass and, most recently, the internationally renowned soloist, Katrina Marzella and 2008 Young Musician of the Year; trombonist Peter Moore. In addition to her work with brass, Lucy has also worked closely with the Lunar Saxophone Quartet (based in London) and has completed commissions for wind orchestras and wind ensembles.
Lucy is currently the composer-in-residence with the Wingates band, where she also plays solo horn. She has composed a number of pieces for the ensemble, including 'Wicked' and 'Dance, Dance' for the 2008 Great Northern Brass Festival at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. She has recently also enjoyed public recognition by receiving the John Golland Award for her composition 'Alchemist's Fire'.