Curtis Young Artist Summer Program: Composition Workshop

Young composers of the 2016 Curtis Young Artist Summer Program. I'm in the corner looking proud, and joined by colleagues Alyssa Weinberg Scott St John, Paul Demers, Mimi Stillman, Arlen Hlusko, and Charles Abramovic (and Julia, who joined us for the shot...)

Young composers of the 2016 Curtis Young Artist Summer Program. I'm in the corner looking proud, and joined by colleagues Alyssa Weinberg Scott St John, Paul Demers, Mimi Stillman, Arlen Hlusko, and Charles Abramovic (and Julia, who joined us for the shot...)

UPDATE! The YASP program has grown so much since I first made this post, that if you're interested in it, I'd urge you to go to the Curtis SummerFest webpage which is right here

OK, and now back to this ol' blog post... I should rewrite it soon!

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Here's a big push for the composition program for high school and early college-aged (14-19) students at the Young Artist Summer Program that we’re doing at Curtis this July. It's going to be an awesomely unique music festival going into its third year which now includes COMPOSITION as a major. I say it's unique because I’ve taught or directed comp programs at about a dozen festivals over the years, and this is a truly extraordinary opportunity for young composers not to be found anywhere else. We have a master class with the inimitable John Mackey and will have several other special guests.

Participants in the composition program will receive:

• Daily seminar class: discussions about where music has been and where it is going, as well as classes with performers to talk about how to write for their instruments, conversations about commissions, competitions, publishing, and other issues facing composers in the 21st century

• Private lessons: meeting once per week with a Curtis Artist Teacher, guest faculty, and yours truly! Students will be working on pieces steadily during the course and have the chance to hear their works in progress.  

• Opportunities to sing in chorus, play in chamber ensembles and orchestra, and private instrument lessons. See a schedule here.

• Participation in the Young Artist Summer Program, which includes daily activities and residence in Lenfest Hall, Curtis's new state-of-the-art facility (with a lounge and wide-screen TV for the *ahem* study of film and video game music...).

• A performance and recording of a work by musicians from Curtis–faculty, alumni, and current students. This is the most important part of the program and what makes it unique!

I believe that you learn more as a composer hearing your music played well than you do in any class or lesson, and–as important as it is to study–you just can’t replace hearing your music performed at a high level. I can't think of another festival a young composer can sign up for that offers this level of constant access to these musicians. Students will be able to use their recordings for years, for college and grad school applications, grants, or just to generally impress everyone. 

(And here's a video about summer programs at Curtis, too):

Lots more info at the website, and here's the Facebook page. It's a very exciting time to be a young composer!

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