Sounds inspired by nature: Young Composers Project concert Saturday in Grass Valley |

Sounds inspired by nature: Young Composers Project concert Saturday in Grass Valley

Submitted to Prospector

Music in the Mountains flagship music education program Young Composers Project will celebrate this year's students with a concert featuring exciting new works — inspired by the Yuba and Bear Rivers — performed by world-class professional ensembles on Saturday at Peace Lutheran Church, Grass Valley.

The annual performance is the culmination of a year's worth of hard work by the students. The Young Composers Project is a unique, singular music composition program for students in junior high through college ages.

The project kicks off early in the school year with talented youth participating in both Saturday classes and private lessons with Music in the Mountains education coordinator and composer/teacher Mark Vance. The curriculum includes: music software notation, melodic and rhythmic dictation, music theory and harmony, music history, conducting, public speaking and composition.

"Art does not exist in a vacuum. YCP students learn about important aspects of our community, becoming more informed and educated citizens. They then use their new found knowledge to create brilliant new music," said Vance.

Each year YCP partners with a local non-profit organization. This year, they collaborated with the South Yuba River Citizens League and learned about the health and welfare of Nevada County watersheds including Yuba and Bear Rivers.

Students volunteered at the Wild and Scenic Film Fest, traveled to Sacramento to attend the Sacramento Water Council's hearing on water storage, attended a protest rally against the proposed Centennial Dam project, and learned about the California water law and the importance of environmental advocacy.

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"SYRCL was proud to collaborate with Music in the Mountains Young Composers Program by sharing knowledge of our watershed's successes and challenges with the aim of inspiring artistic composition," said Melinda Booth, SYRCL executive director. "We were asked to inspire them, but in the end, they inspired us as these talented youth created moving, passionate pieces that captured the tenor of our times in musical notes."

Over a dozen students participated in this year's program. For a handful it was their first year with the program, but most of the students have been with the program for several years.

"We've integrated ourselves more with nature this year," said Lydia, a sophomore at Bear River High School. "Traveling to the Yuba transported us into the topic rather than leaving us guessing on the outside, which seems to make the music easier to write. All in all, this year has been amazing, filled with breathtaking views and leaving us with breathtaking music. I'm excited to hear the concert which will surely be one of our best."

Source: Music in the Mountains


WHAT: Music in the Mountains presents Young Composers Project Concert

WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Peace Lutheran Church, 828 W. Main Street, Grass Valley

TICKETS: $10/adults, youth free

INFO: Visit for more information

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