Grammar School names Opus 34 composer

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PUTNEY — Ella Wilson's musical composition "Flying Bird," recently chosen to be played at The Grammar School Music Comp's Opus 34 concert, was special for a number of reasons. The instrumentation of flute, bassoon and piano was a unique and descriptive combination.

The story was well-constructed and easy to follow, with the flute portraying a sparrow, the bassoon a hawk, and the piano the wind. At first, she introduces a well-crafted melodic motif, played by the flute, to represent the sparrow flying around. The piano echoing the motif and playing with the flute gives you the feeling of the wind enveloping and protecting the lone bird. When the bassoon enters, you can picture the hawk hunting for its dinner. After it flies away, the sparrow starts flying around again and then flies away. In the end, you hear just the wind.

After being selected, these young people forever see themselves as composers, knowing more thoroughly what they're musically capable of and how to use the composition tools available. They also have the chance to hear live classical musicians, masters of their art.

As former executive director of Music COMP Sandi MacLeod once wrote, "The live performance experience is such a reward. When music comes from living, breathing musicians, there is an energy and vibrancy that the computer can't imitate." All together, composing a piece and having it selected and played live is for many a life-changing experience.

The Opus competition, put on by Music-COMP, includes a website where students ranging from 3rd through 12th grade can submit original pieces of music which are developed with the help of an online mentor.

When selected, the piece is then performed live by professional musicians at the annual Opus concert.

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