My Senior Ventures project has involved composing a major orchestral composition, in the form of a rhapsody.
I have been improvising on the piano, recording myself and transcribing my recordings onto a sheet music app, MuseScore, while still brainstorming for more ideas. I have only arranged and composed small pieces before, so the completion of this project has definitely been a breakthrough in my understanding of orchestration.My Darlington mentors are Mr. Ben McVety, Mr. Damon Harvey and Mrs. Kim Tunnell. They have assisted me with orchestration techniques and have supported me throughout the process.
I have been working with Mr. Harvey, and our plan was to have the wind ensemble practice and play the piece at the Spring concert. This did not happen, due to the pandemic, but we have devised an alternative. The wind ensemble has been using the program MusicFirst to practice the piece at home. The students are able to go to login to the website, select the music score and their instrument, and then practice. This was their homework, and after practicing the piece for an hour, they made a recording and submitted it to Mr. Harvey. I really appreciate Mr. Harvey being willing to take the time to set-up practice time, and I enjoyed hearing my classmates playing a piece of music I composed. Mr. Harvey is planning on having the band practice and play the piece during fall semester of the 2020-21 school year as well. I will watch the concert from a distance because I will be in college! Mr. Harvey likes the piece and remarked on how challenging it is to play. I have included a video of him playing a few measures of the trumpet part.
About a year ago, senior Nick Powell, sophomore Elliot Luitwieler and I formed our band, Bottlehead. We have performed at events such as Light the Lake. In early November, we performed in the Hub during office hours. During the first phase of Senior Ventures, I composed a piano/cello duet for senior Sophie Jin as the background soundtrack of her collaborative arts project.
The pandemic hasn’t had much impact on my project because I essentially need only a laptop to work on it. My mentors have been really supportive through emails. I composed this piece for the school band, which posed limits to the number and variety of instruments I can orchestrate with. In the future, I would like to add some instrument parts to this piece, such as trombone, oboe, strings, and maybe piano, to make it sound closer to how I’d like it. I hope you enjoy listening to the piece, and musicians are welcome to download the score and attempt to play the piece.