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The Scarlet & Black

Composers work around the clock

This upcoming Saturday February 18th at 7:30pm in Sebring-Lewis Hall members of the music SEPC are holding a Composition Concert. This semester, music majors Michael Maiorana and Vincect Newton have been very involved in putting together the event.

In describing how the event operates Maiorana states “We get a lot of composers together, they are all students thus far, and we match them up randomly at 7:30pm on a Friday night. Then the composers have a little bit of time to talk to their performers about their musical range. Then the composers have 12 hours from 7:30pm to 7:30am Saturday morning compose musical. It’s usually turns out to be some music majors, but mostly non-music majors. A lot of the composers are music majors but a lot of the performers are non-music majors—however that doesn’t have to be the case. Then we send it to the performers and they have 12 hours to rehearse their pieces. They can practice however ever much they want in that time, they just have to be ready in front of an audience by 7:30pm on Saturday night.”

When asked what the turnout has been in the past both Maiorana and Newton talk about the conglomeration of unique musical styles and instruments. Newton states “Between the pieces and the performances there were a lot of different musical styles. The great thing about this type of concert is that unless there is a huge, tragic mishap no one is going to know, expect the composers. There were compositions written for a bassoon and flute, a cello and trombone and 2 pianos, which are hard to compose for, but that’s part of the fun.”

Maiorana especially took the lead in organizing this event as he describes keeping in contact with a professor from the college who put together an event similar to this one when he was an undergraduate.

“It started was with me talking to a music professor who has now left, Christopher Ganiey, who taught here for a year, in the fall of 2010. He told me about the undergraduate school he attended, and how he helped organize an event similar to this. We were in a prison, for a prison concert that Grinnell Singers holds, and he brought this up to me at that point. After that we keep an email correspondence and he had a lot of suggestions about how to run this event” Maiorana states.

Maiorana goes on to talk about the important of not calling it a concert and not a competition. He stressed that due to the intense time constraint, it is very important that a friendly atmosphere is maintained for all participants.

“We do not call it a competition and that was one of the suggestions Ganiey gave me. That’s helped create a really friendly atmosphere, especially when you are sitting in the basement of Bucksbaum for 12 hours trying to produce great music.”

When asked what participants get out of it, Newtwon states “I think it’s really a ‘win-win’ for both the composers and the performers. The composers get a finished project that they are happy with or a start on an extra project and the performers get a chance to preform in front of an audience.”

Maiorana also adds “Composers can always pull ideas from other pieces they have worked on. For example, the piece I wrote last semester is one of the only finished pieces I had all semester and time constraint forces you to do something.”

Both Newton and Marionana hope to conduct another concert like this in the April with the inclusion of faculty members. This weekend they will participate as composers. If people want to participate they should email as there is still time to join in on the fun.

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