The new composer participants in CANOE (Composer Apprentice National Outreach Endeavor) are going strong. The next composing sessions will occur after spring break happening next week, with the participants starting their own individual compositions. Each participant has a unique idea for their composition, some starting with melodic ideas, some starting with ideas about harmony, and others beginning with rhythmic ideas. Creativity is everywhere with these composers, and it will be an exciting event to go hear their finished works performed by the Civic Symphony of Green Bay in the fall!
It's not the easiest of pursuits to compose written music. A good friend of mine, who would later become a Senior Ethnomusicologist with the Smithsonian, now Emeritus, once commented that he had taken a couple years of composition in college—and quit. He admired what I did, he said, because he knew how hard it really was. However, several aspiring composers have started their own studies this year, in Bowler and Gresham high schools, and from the Stockbridge-Munsee reservation too. They will succeed!
The program transpires in basically three phases. The first phase is a group orientation on the CANOE program, and a beginning practicum on written notation. Phase One of the 2015 program is now complete, and the participant composers will start Phase Two next week: individualized composition studies. Over the next several weeks, the composers will create a seed of some music idea: perhaps a few notes, possibly some chords, or maybe a conceptual thought such as a scenic sunset. From this starting point, whatever it may be, they will enhance and develop a longer, fully-conceived composition, before moving to the third and final phase, adapting their compositions for string quartet.
2015 is off to a great start! If you personally know any of these students, please encourage them with their ambitious task. The finished compositions will be performed in concert by the Civic Symphony of Green Bay in the orchestra's fall season. We should all be there with bells on!
The Composer Apprentice National Outreach Endeavor (CANOE) is off the ground. There are five 2015 participants, and we’ll have our first orientation meeting next week. I’ll be facilitating the sessions throughout the semester, in the various participant’s locations. It would be great to support and encourage our first round of participants, who are on the road to composing their first works for string quartet. Each participant will write their music by hand on paper (without a computer program) resulting in their more meticulous and thorough understanding of music notation. So, if you would, encourage, support and applaud our CANOE participants!
On an additional note, my visit to Lori Mueller’s 4th grade class last week was educational and entertaining. Her students sent me the most lovely letters of appreciation, many of them with hand drawn portrayals of flute playing and the spinning of bird roars in class (whistles attached to the end of a string). Here’s one such illustration of me playing flute with the spinning of bird roars by two students:
March 7-8, the Phoenix Chorale will perform my "Native American Suite" on a program of choral works entitled "Desert Songs." The concert features the exemplary flutist R. Carlos Nakai on my work, and several other compositions including his own. Tickets are available, so if you are in the area, definitely go check it out! Here's a link to the concert:
CANOE 2015 will be officially underway next week! The Composer Apprentice National Outreach Endeavor, also known by its acronym CANOE, will begin the student composer orientation sessions during the week of March 9th, followed by weekly private lessons thereafter.
Several hopeful composers are joining the ranks of our CANOE program, coming from Bowler High School, Gresham High School, and the Stockbridge-Munsee community. Participants are high school students and adults who will undergo rigorous training in composing written music, training occurring over several weeks, and culminating in a live performance of their finished compositions.
Special thanks go to our Bowler and Gresham high school faculty, who are assisting this new program: Alan Marquardt (Bowler H.S. Band), Amanda Hein (Bowler H.S. Chorus), Amy Doefer (Gresham H. S. Band), and Lee Clasen (Gresham H. S. Chorus). And, special thanks to Seong-Kyung Graham, conductor of the Civic Symphony of Green Bay. If all goes to plan, the finished compositions will be performed by the symphony at a future date (to be determined).
Advice to participants — find a ruler, sharpen those pencils, and get ready to immerse yourselves in the power of composing your own music!
Toing and Froing