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ILMEA Experience in Peoria

Joshua Iyer

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Published: February 1, 2015 at 6:14 PM [UTC]

After school Wednesday, January 28th, I bussed with all my All-State friends on instruments to head to Peoria, Illinois, for the ILMEA All-State event, and left mid-day on the 31st. Throughout our stay, while they auditioned for which orchestra and seat and rehearsed for their concerts, I was in my own composing world, taking a few sessions on motivic development, melodic ideas and counterpoint, and harmony with the other composition winners for the contest. They were cool, but I had already learned all of it in AP Music Theory two years ago, so it wasn’t much new. I also was able to listen to both orchestra’s practicing; the Honors orchestra played the first movement of Mahler 2 with a rather eccentric conductor, and it was fun following the score on my computer. I even got to stand at the front of the orchestra with the other teachers and students who were observing, which was cool. Friday morning was a lot of fun; because I had nothing to do until 3pm, I spend 8am-10am composing away! I finished a piano sonatina, inspired by Ravel’s harp stuff in his beautiful piece “Introduction et Allegro”, and continued revising “Into the Forest”, the piece we will play for the March concert, based on suggestions from my teacher and classmates, as well as some of the things I heard while listening to the sessions. Overall, this three-day experience was a ton of fun. It was fantastic to be surrounded by music every day, so much so that I completely forgot about basically everything else in the world. I could just compose away! I didn’t bring my violin with me, so I never really played anything, but it’s cool to have brought this stuff back with me to perform by myself and with the orchestra on piano and violin in the next couple days. I can think, as I play, how I was inspired by being surrounded by music. :) In any case, I just wanted to write a few things on that! It'll be great to get back into my instruments again. I did see the director for Shrek: The Musical I did over the summer, and I'm hoping I can do it again this summer. He's going to send out an email and we shall wait and see what happens! :)

And below, you can find a link to the piece that won (3rd place) for the contest. It’s a section from “Birds of Prey” that I think was one of my best sections. Click back to September and back through the summer for more info on my very musical summer when I wrote this, and what kinds of influences (especially with what I was practicing on my violin at the time) where there.

Click here to take a listen!

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