KIDS COMPOSE: performances of IU composition majors' arrangements for orchestra and band of local kids' melodies during the annual grade school concerts for capacity audiences in the Musical Arts Center.
Started in Bloomington in 2006 by Debbi Ponella and Ruth Boshkoff with assistance from the Jacobs School of Music Composition Department, Kids Compose aims to foster children's natural talent for composing melodies.Kids Compose is sponsored by the Jacobs School of Music, and has received funding from the Bloomington Community Arts Commision and the Community Chamber Music Association.
- Elementary School children from grades two through six are invited to submit original melodies that fit on one page and are less than one minute in length. Students invent a melody and learn the simple tools needed to get it written in musical form.
- IU Jacobs School of Music composition students turn the melodies selected by a panel into orchestra or band compositions.
- The selections will be performed to over 1,600 local 3rd and 5th grade elementary students who visit the Musical Arts Center each school year for youth concerts given by IU Jacobs School of Music ensembles.
- During the concerts each student melody contributor and the IU composition student will be honored. Recordings will be produced to document the project.
- 2009-10 Review
Our unique Bloomington community offers everything needed to work this magic: a world-class music school that has pledged its support for the Children's Composition Project, a collaborative school system with highly-qualified MCCSC music teachers, and a sponsoring community groups in the form of the Community Chamber Music Association and Bloomington Community Arts Commission.
For more info contact Ruth Boshkoff at ruth.boshkoff [@] gmail.com or Debbi Ponella at dponella [@] gmail.com .
IU Composition Majors
The Composition Department is proud to support Kids Compose, a community outreach program started in 2006. Kids Compose aims to foster children's natural talent for composing melodies. Children (grades 2 - 6) may submit melodies of which four will be selected by IU Jacobs School of Music Composition Faculty as winners. These melodies will then be arranged and orchestrated by IU Jacobs School of Music composition students and performed by the band and orchestra at MCCSC MAC series performances. Composition students and winners will be present at the performances, and may take part in a question and answer session at the completion of the performance, as time allows. IU Jacobs School of Music recording students will record, edit and press CDs, which will be presented to the winners, IU composition students and kept for archival purposes.
The four composition majors selected to participate in this venture will each receive an honorarium of $500 which will cover their honorarium and the expenses of providing performance materials. Two works will be for orchestra and two will be for wind ensemble.
The resulting arrangements will be less than two minutes in duration, and will be relatively straightforward, preserving the identity of the Kid's melodies, and making no elaborate or unusual demands of the ensemble, as there will be very little rehearsal time. Faculty will discuss this more with the selected composers. The arrangements should be effective and interesting, but also clear and concise. The IU composers should communicate and interact with the kids while completing the arrangement,and also plan to write a short program note for the website and speak briefly at the concert.
If you are interested in being considered for this project, please send Prof. Dzubay an email indicating the same and your preference of band or orchestra, and also submit an example (complete work or excerpt) of your orchestrating for either band or orchestra by noon on October 1. You may leave material for Professor Dzubay at the mailroom.
Click here for a list of finalist, recordings, and more information for all of the previous Kids Compose events
2010-2011 Kids Compose Event Information
Student (Kids) Finalist
Alison Albright (Summit); Jessica Carmichael (Clear Creek); Tiseok Choi (U. School); Gianna Davy (Grace and Hope Academy); Nick Dolson (St. Charles); Ben Foley (U. School); Se Min Ko (St. Charles); Finley Krauter (U. School); Lauren Leal (St. Charles); Tai Min Lee (St. Charles); Kaya McCloud (Marlin); Greta Meya (U. School); Patrick Mooney (St. Charles); Melina Raglin (U. School); Roxanna Shanla (University School); Connor Starks (U. School); Graham Todd (U. School); Joshua Tseng (U. School); Tanner Waldrip (Marlin), Sophie Young (U. School)
Student (Kids) Winners
Abbey Allen (St. Charles), John Bannec (Clear Creek), Isabel Flynn (St. Charles), Riley Halloran (St. Charles), Jaime Lee (Childs), Grace Mullins (St. Charles), Alan Nguyen (St. Charles), Sam Stright (U. School)
IU Composer Winners
Orchestra: Sang Mi Ahn, Carlo Frizzo
Band: Francisco Alvarez, Timothy Miller
More information about this years event
Performance date: Feb. 9, 2011
Place: Musical Arts Center (MAC)
"Train and Wild Ride" by Sang Mi Ahn
Train and Wild Ride is written for the Kids Compose project at IU Jacobs School of Music. The melodies in this arrangement are composed by Alan Nguyen and Sam Stright. When I first saw their melodies, I realized immediately that they would work well together in a single composition. Both Alan's and Sam's melodies are based on D, and the titles of their melodies, Train (by Alan) and Wild Ride (by Sam) also share the idea of a journey. Alan’s lively melody provides a great opening theme and Sam’s energetic melody is suitable for building up the climax of the piece. To enhance the characteristics of each melody, I arranged each melody with a different orchestration. For Alan's melody, I used winds, strings, and the harp to set up a playful and dreamy mood. For Sam’s melody, I used the brass to bring out the majestic and masculine characteristics of the melody and to build up to the climax. The repeated notes in the strings accompanying Alan’s melody give a sonic impression of the railway. After introducing both melodies in their original forms, I used fragments of each melody to create more dialogue between the smaller musical units and to create a more varied texture.
Train and Wild Ride is also inspired by a children's animation I watched when I was little but whose title I cannot recall. In the animation, I remember scenes in which I saw a train flying in space. In this piece, I hope audiences can freely imagine riding on their own trains and traveling through the landscape of their dreams.
"Midnight Star Party" by Vini Frizzo
“Midnight Star Party” in “Spring Time” is an orchestral arrangment of two melodies. The first melody heard, “Midnight Star Party” was composed by Grace Mullins. Creating celebrietory images of magic in the heavens, Grace employs a rhythmic hemiola into her melody that adds a sense of drive and excitement. This lively melody is incredibly catchy and is presented twice encomposing the first half of the work. The second melody, “Spring Time” by Jamie Lee immediately
follows the climax concluding the first half of the piece. This theme with its long flowing lines has an endearing sweetness that is both alluring and meaningful. The work as a whole is a colorful expression of the youthful exurberance and optimism that I found in Grace’s and Jamie’s music. My hope is that I was able to accentuate the natural magnetism and inspriation of their melodies.
Performance date: Feb. 16, 2011
Place: Musical Arts Center (MAC)
"Spring Stroll Through the Meadow" by Tim Miller
Spring Stroll Through the Meadow combines two short melodies written by Abby Allen and John Bannee, both elementary students in Bloomington, IN. For this short work, I wanted both young students to feel invested in this larger orchestrated piece for band that uses their melodies. I asked each student about what their favorite instruments were and what kind of music they liked, along with other ideas about their feelings and ideas they were thinking when writing their melodies, and wanted to make sure to evoke them in the piece. In this case, Abby said her favorite instrument was the Glockenspiel and Flute, so in the first half of the piece, you will hear portions of her melody in both of these instruments. Throughout the first half of the piece, the Trumpet leads the band in a journey of growth and springtime, leading to an exciting arch of brass chords and a fanfare.
John’s melody seemed to evoke a jazzy type quality too it and I felt it would fit perfectly in the Alto Saxophone. After speaking with John, I discovered that his favorite instrument was the Saxophone and he really like jazz music! So in the second half of the piece, the music begins with a jazzy melodic figure in the Bassoons and Alto Saxophone. Quickly the full band takes John’s melody and reaches a moment of gorgeous fulfillment followed by a little surprise at the end.
"Dragon in the Rain" by Francisco Cortés-Álvarez
Once upon a time in the Far East there was a little and colorful village inhabited by hard working and happy people. They were farmers, and they harvest rice year after year, but one year they had a terrible drought and they were worried about their crops. How could they survive without a successful harvest? So, the wisest men went on a long journey to the most treacherous mountain on the horizon to find the Ancient Dragon of Good Luck. After long days of danger they found the dragon; and the dragon heard their plea for water. The dragon wanted to see the people happy, not worried, so he tried his best to help, but the dragon feared that he would not be able and began to cry.
This musical piece is about the day after the wise men talked with the dragon. When suddenly from the deep of the horizon the dragon appeared magnificently flying over the little village. He was crying; crying with magical tears. As the dying crops were touched by the magical tears they instantaneously became the freshest crops in the world; and since that day the town became wealthy and famous for harvesting the best rice in the word.
“Dragon in the Rain” is the sum of “Drip Drop Rain Drop” composed by Isabel Flynn and “Mystical Dragon” composed by Riley Halloran.
Pictures from this years event