Other Voices: Sincerely overwhelmed by talented kids | TheUnion.com

Other Voices: Sincerely overwhelmed by talented kids

We signed up to usher at a concert last Sunday night. We had an idea it had something to do with local youth performing. Music in the Mountains, under the direction of Paul Perry, knocked our proverbial socks off once again.

Eleven outstanding young composers, ages 12 through 18, took to the podium, with their chosen musicians, to show off their original works.

Each one introduced him or herself, announced why they’d written their music composition and thanked all the professionals whose help they’d received.

Their varied musical accompaniments were provided by strings, clarinet, viola, cello, soprano soloists, violin – and Perry at the piano. After each offering was announced, the composer took a seat to hear his or her work float magically out into the air, aided by the sound acoustics provided by Peace Lutheran Church.

Each of these young composers were chosen to work with Mark Vance, Jerry Grant or Jay Sideman. These local well-know composers were asked by Music in the Mountains’ Music Education Committee, led by Gail Fox, to be teachers. Their caring, patience and persistence, along with their vast knowledge, was well received and rewarded.

Then the music began. The unique and brilliant work of these 11 young people was more than exciting and truly marvelous.

A few of the more memorable pieces were “Praise My Soul the King of Heaven,” by Phil De Leo; “Waltz of the Roses,” by Ellary Rose Terpening; “A Season in Hell,” by Dylan Rodrique, text by Arthur Rimbaud; “Ripples in the Moonlight,” by Elise Rosky; “Dance 1,” by Evan Rosky; “Rondo in G Major,” by William Kellogg; “Open Waters and White Walls,” by Hunter Jones; “4 pieces for Clarinet and Piano,” by Michael Coyne; “Carpe Diem,” music and lyrics by Stephen Cobb; “Flute Trio,” by Katherine Buckley, and “Spring Forward, Fall Back,” by Galen Fraser, who appeared on stage with his father, Alasdair Fraser, a local violinist.

The musicians included Randy McKean, clarinet; Bill Douglass, double bass; Martha Brown, Michael Coyne, cello; Sarah Wood, Randy Soule and Rose May Mickelson, violinists; Nancy Ewing Wood, viola; Ginny Trapani and Roberta Frank, soprano soloists; Cailin Sakaue, an outstanding young flutist; Evan Rosky and Perry, on piano.

We hope we have honored everyone whose music made the composers happy and was more than memorable.

Tomorrow’s music is in the best of hands. We thank all who put this wonderful eye-opening evening together, and we praise Music in the Mountains for their unwavering love for youth and their ability to teach them music.

We are so lucky here to have such a devoted and talented organization.

In its 26th year, don’t miss Music in the Mountains’ high point in the Amaral Concert Hall, under the pines at Picnic and Pops and wherever else the three weeks (June 16 through July 3) of top-drawer music can be heard.

Lois Cleveland lives in Penn Valley.

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