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Past Opus Events

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The Opus events began in April 2000 when a string quartet from the National Symphony Orchestra was engaged to perform selected student compositions. As part of their week-long residency program in Vermont that spring, Music-COMP was selected from among a number of proposals to involve the orchestra with the Vermont communities. The electricity and excitement from that event where students heard their music with living, breathing instruments instead of from a computer convinced all in attendance that live performance was the next direction for the project.

Since that April concert, semi-yearly events have taken place: once in the fall/winter with featured instruments of brass, percussion, piano, and voice; once in the spring with featured instruments from a string quartet or quintet and woodwind quartet or quintet. You can hear works from Opus 15, held on November, 2007 up to the most recent Opus concert here.

For examples of student work from OPUS 23-27 

For examples of student work prior to Opus 23



With the emphasis on live performance of student compositions, many opportunities have been created for collaborations with performing ensembles and "commissions" of student work. OPUS concerts are produced by Music-COMP and take place in the fall at the Elley-Long Music Center in Colchester, VT and at various communities around the state in the spring. See Past OPUS events (link) for more information and examples of student work.

Another exciting development has been the growing collaborations with performing groups in Vermont. Many ensembles are "commissioning" work from students, with full orchestral pieces being performed by professional and community groups throughout the state. See Upcoming Concerts and  Other Concerts for more information. (link)

OPUS concerts

Twice each year, Music-COMP produces a concert featuring live performance of student work. Professional musicians are hired to perform the pieces in an evening concert free to the public.
In the fall, students are given the opportunity to write for brass quintet, percussion, piano and SATB vocal ensemble. In the spring, the instrumentation includes woodwinds and strings.They may choose any combinations from the available instruments, whether solo, duet or full ensemble.  Criteria are posted and a time frame established.
Students must post their work online in progress, ask for feedback from their mentors and make a commitment to having a meaningful dialogue about their intent and their musical decisions. Work must be revised and reposted online. Mentors decide what works will be performed in concert, and at that point the scores are "cleaned up" for performance. Rehearsal time is allotted to each student composer during the day for interaction with the performers, and DVD and CD recordings are made of the performance.

Read more about Opus 28, the upcoming event.

Read more about previous Opus concerts.

Other Concerts

Performing organizations frequently "commission" our students to compose new works. While in most instances no financial remuneration is involved, there are various requirements for the work in terms of instrumentation, style, ensemble size, purpose, and audience. Experienced students are carefully selected to match the needs of the requesting organization. These opportunities provide students with the chance to work with new musicians; students and adults, amateurs as well as professionals, and have their work heard by new audiences.

Collaborating organizations and recents performances:

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

January 22, 2014 - Farmers' Night Concert at the Vermont Statehouse, Montpelier VT

Beowulf's Last Battle by Susie Francy, 10th grade, Leland and Gray Union Middle and High School, Townshend VT. Listen here.

December 19- 23, 2013 - Five performances in Warren, Jay Peak Resort, Grafton, Manchester, and Brandon VT

Jazzy Quintet for VSO Brass by Johna Saltsman, 12th grade, North Country Union High School, Newport VT. Listen here.


Vermont Youth Orchestra

December 31, 2013 - First Night Burlington, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts

Pages from One Summer by Nathan Chan, grade 12, U-32 High School, East Montpelier

Upcoming Performances

vso featureSam David    Thursday, March 12, 2015 - 10 am, Flynn Theater for the Performing Arts. Sammy Beste is a seventh grader at Edmunds Middle School and he'll be joined by classmates and hundreds of other area students at the Flynn Theater Student Matinee when the Vermont Symphony Orchestra plays Sammy's new work composed for CREATE!. Tickets are still available for this exciting show focused on the creative process of music. Composer David Ludwig narrates and introduces Sammy to explain how he created an audio sound carpet and composed a score for In the Garden
 EileenKocherlakota3-2014 150w   Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 2 pm, Barre Opera House. Eileen Kocherlakota's Hidden Mountains will be performed by the Vermont Philharmonic at their annual Family Concert. Eileen is a senior at Burlington High School and has composed with Music-COMP since she was a fourth grader at Champlain Elementary School in Burlington. 
 SaigelynGreenweb   Saturday, May 16, 2015, 7:30 pm - Saigelyn Green, a senior at North Country Union High School, is currently working on her full orchestra work for the Burlington Chamber Orchestra's Annual Celebration of Youth Concert. The concert will be held at Saint Michael's College at the McCarthy Arts Center, Colchester. Yutaka Kono, Artistic Director.

RECENT EVENTS in 2014-2015 (other than Opus live performances)

Wednesday, Janaury 21, 2015 - Ethan Duncan, 8th grader at Williston Central School and currently an Independent Study student with Music-COMP, has written a new work for small orchestra. A Year in Vermont will be premiered by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra at the Farmer's Night Concert in the State House. Door open at 6:45 pm with concert at 7:30 pm. Jamie Laredo, conducting. Read more at the VSO blog.

Sunday, January 25, 2015 - Gabe Harter, 11th grader at U32 High School and currently an Independent Study student with Music-COMP, will have his new work for the Vermont Youth Orchestra performed in their Young Artist's Festival concert at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington. The concert is at 3:00 pm.

April 5, 2014 -  Erin Magill, 8th grader at Harwood Union Middle School, Duxbury VT, and Eileen Kocherlakota, junior at Burlington High School, will be featured in an all-woman composer concert by the Green Mountain Youth Symphony. Barre Opera House, 7:00 pm. Erin’s work is titled Briskly Sunny is for string orchestra. Eileen work, Hidden Mountains, is for full orchestra. Ticket info here.

The GMYS Senior Orchestra presents a full-length program of music composed by American women spanning three centuries. The program includes the entire, rarely heard ‘Gaelic’ Symphony in E minor by Mrs. H. H. A. Beach (premiered in 1896 in Boston). The 20th century is represented by a world premiere of Beth Anderson’s Revelation (composed in 1980). Three pieces from the current century are also on the program: Frontier Fancies by Barbara Harbach, featuring violinist Zachary Acosta; Briskly Sunny by Erin Magill; and Hidden Mountains by Eileen Kocherlakota. Miss Magill and Miss Kocherlakota composed their music as part of the Music-COMP mentoring program here in Vermont. This very special program was made possible by a generous grant from Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy (www.wophil.org).

April 30, 2014 – Opus 28 featuring brand new works by 25 students at the Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium, Ludlow VT. 6:30 pm concert. Free and open to the public. Donations gratefully accepted. Produced by Music-COMP. More info here.

May 17, 2014 – Adele Woodmansee, senior at North Country Union High School, Newport VT, will be featured with a new work for the Burlington Chamber Orchestra. Their concert is at 7:30 pm at the McCarthy Arts Center at St. Michael's College.

March 16, 2014 – Nathan Chan, senior at U32 East Montpelier, VT was featured in the Family Concert of the Vermont Philharmonic. His work, Pages from Last Summer, was first presented by the Vermont Youth Orchestra at First Night Burlington, Dec 31, 2013. Barre Opera House, 2 pm. Nathan's work will be featured along with family favorites, Peter and the Wolf, 1812 Overture and a contemporary work by Barbara Harbach.

March 29, 2014  - The Chamber group Arioso performed Music-COMP alumni Jacob Morton-Black's new work Romance for Elizabeth Reid, viola, at a concert at the United Church in Northfield, VT. Jacob is a first year student at Ithaca College majoring in music composition.