Very Young Composers perform at Avon Public Library
A Dog That Found a Home, Juliana Carrasco
Sadness to Happiness, Ixzhaiana Fernandez
The Moose in the Manger, Cassie Kellen
A Magical Dream, Michael Carullo and Keegan Chalberg
The Musical Holiday, Iara Melgarejo
The Run, Ivan Rojas
The Magical Forest, Mariana Rojas
The Music, Bora Basyildiz
Running From an Angry Goldfish, Jamling Sherpa
The World Behind My Door, Aime Bustillos
Untitled, Mackenzie Abbott
Untitled, Anthony Flores
National Wind, Ashley Wagner
The Jungle King, Connor Chalberg
Untitled, Jada Abbott and Lily Carullo
The Rainy Day, Monica Loya
Imagine you’re 12 years old and composing music for the first time. Then imagine you’re doing it with professional symphony musicians.
Then imagine they’re not playing your music the way you want it played, and you, a 12-year-old, have to stop them and tell them, “You’re doing it wrong.”
And imagine how good it feels when those musicians smile, offer encouragement and your music floats across the room.
That’s what it’s like to be part of Very Young Composers, a Youth Foundation First Notes program.
This time around, 18 local kids composed music performed last week at the Avon Public Library.
Conrad Kehn is with The Playground Ensemble in Denver. In the six years he has been helping run Very Young Composers, kids have created more than 90 original compositions.
“It helps them develop independence and leadership,” said Jon Deak, former associate principal bassist with the New York Philharmonic.
The Very Young Composers really are very young — grades 3-9. The pieces tend to be short, like the composers. The kids say starting is harder than finishing, and their music is whatever they say it is.
“These are good, intelligent, music-loving kids in the valley, and I’d like to reach more of them.”
Among this year’s players are Jessica Chen, violin; Karlie Carter, piano and a teacher at Vail Mountain School; Tamara Nuzzaci Park, flute; Jason Rodon, percussion.
Composing the composers
One summer not so long ago, Deak created Very Young Composers of Vail while the New York Philharmonic was in residence as part of the Bravo! Vail summer program.
The program started in Denver in 1995. It’s grown to 20 locations around the world.
Students with or without musical backgrounds compose music for performances by philharmonic musicians. Besides Vail, the program is in China, Japan, Korea, Venezuela, Finland and the United Kingdom.
Students attend a fundamentals camp where they study music theory, composition and counterpoint; instrument demonstrations with philharmonic musicians; and one-on-one meetings to hone their works.
“These young composers’ works contain a detectable local accent, distinct from their counterparts in New York and around the world, and it is a pleasure to help them develop their compositional voices,” Deak said. “When children are free to imagine, when their creativity is taken seriously, you find that they have the potential to create real works of art.”
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935.