Monday, April 18, 2011

Classical kids

Congrats to these wonderful singers! MacArthur's PFC A Cappella group took first place in New York City in the final round Friday night of the International Championship of High School A Cappella.
Led by co-directors Matt Woodward and Caitlyn Griffith, also won best choreography for their performance, taking home a trophy, a certificate and some serious prestige.
Ten groups were selected to compete in the international competition based on YouTube submissions. The MacArthur group made the cut against 75 other groups.

And this is coming up in Austin:
About three years ago, Jack Roberts found a demo version of Finale, a music composition program, at the back of a band textbook.
He started messing around with the software and discovered, much to his surprise, that he really liked writing music.
So he kept it up. And that work is paying off this week, when the Austin Symphony Orchestra will be playing his symphonic piece “War for Survival” as part of a program of student-written work.
“It's basically like an alternate history thing, like a WWII type of scenario, where there's a generic evil force and a generic force for good and they're clashing,” said Roberts, a freshman at Alamo Heights High School who plays piano and alto saxophone. “Out of that erupts a huge battle. In the end, good prevails, and there erupts hope.
“I love music that has a happy ending to it but also takes you through a journey. I don't like music that wanders around; I like music that makes you feel like it's worth listening to.”
Anthony J. Corroa, executive director of the Austin symphony, said the piece was “very interesting. ... All the thematic ideas were amazing.”
Roberts got the news in January that his piece would be performed by professional musicians.
“I couldn't speak for several minutes,” he said. “I was in awe that I was going to be a legitimate composer. It was just jaw-dropping; I couldn't believe it.”
The 14-year-old composer will get his first listen of the piece Tuesday when he and his dad, Wayne Roberts, sit in on a rehearsal. They will be joined by mom Shannon and sister Katy for the concert Wednesday night at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin.
It will be the orchestra's first Texas Young Composers Concert. Corroa spearheaded the project after receiving a composition in the mail in 2009 from a Round Rock teen looking for some feedback. Corroa took a look and liked the piece so much that he put it on the program for a series of concerts for high school students.
“It needed very little alteration at all — it had a few little problems, but it was quite good as it was,” he said. “After we were through with that, I had an idea that it might be fun to launch a contest for young composers.”
He expected to get a handful of entries — “I figured there can't be that many young people composing music on a symphonic level” — but ended up getting around 25 submissions from high school-aged composers from all over the state.
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