Registration open for Very Young Composers workshop, held in Vail June 9-14 |

Registration open for Very Young Composers workshop, held in Vail June 9-14

John Deak (center), founder of the Very Young Composers program, works with aspiring young musicians at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in 2009.
Special to the Daily |

VAIL — The Vail Valley’s summer musical offerings will be enhanced June 9-14 as The Youth Foundation co-hosts a Very Young Composers student workshop at Vail Mountain School. The program marks the initial collaboration between The Youth Foundation and Very Young Composers.

Throughout the course of the week, each student will create a story, which is then transformed into a musical composition. All of the original student works will be performed during the final concert by professional musicians.

The program will be led by Conrad Kehn, a professor of musical composition at the University of Denver, while also leading the Denver-based Playground Ensemble. The camp will run in two sessions, with younger students in the morning and older students in the afternoon.

“The Very Young Composers workshop is a terrific opportunity for our children to continue their exploration of music as an art form,” explained Melisa Rewold-Thuon, vice president of education for the Vail Valley Foundation. “Our First Notes initiative is a tremendous program that is truly making a difference in the lives of our young people and Very Young Composers is a wonderful springboard that will help them take the next step on that journey.”

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About the Program

Very Young Composers was introduced to the Vail Valley in 2006 by Jon Deak and Bill Gordh, in collaboration with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and Bravo! Vail, in an effort to empower young people to compose for classical instruments. Students will little or no musical background learn to create, notate and hear their very own music.

“We are truly dedicated to learning from children,” said Deak, the founder of Very Young Composers, “nurturing an art that takes root, flowers and develops into a truly indigenous expression.”

Registration is currently open for the Very Young Composers workshop, with a minimum requested donation of $25. Application forms are available online at http://www.theyouth, location on the First Notes page. Forms are also available in The Youth Foundation offices in Avon. If you have any questions, contact Jessica Chen at

The Vail Valley Foundation’s Youth Foundation’s mission is “to ensure every child in Eagle County has access to education-based programs that ignite passions and prepare children, particularly those in need, for success.”

The Youth Foundation provides early childhood education, afterschool, summer, mentoring and scholarship programs for students, ranging from pre-school through college, with the goal of empowering even our most disadvantaged youth to reach their highest potential and attain academic excellence.

The Youth Foundation is the education arm of the Vail Valley Foundation. For additional information on the Youth Foundation, visit

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