2008 NSBA Student Electronic Music Composition Talent Search Winners

About the Talent Search

Sponsored by MENC and the National School Boards Association (NSBA), the Electronic Music Composition Competition recognizes outstanding compositions and is held to help influence school administrators to include or improve music technology in their schools’ curriculum. Entries will be judged based on their aesthetic quality, effective use of electronic media, and the power of the composition and its presentation in communicating to school board members, administrators, and others, the excitement and effectiveness of electronic music composition in the school curriculum.

Winning students and their schools receive prizes from Sibelius, MagicScore Music Software, and MENC, and will be honored at the NSBA’s 2008 T+L Conference in Seattle, Washington, October 28–30, 2008.

High School Winner: Daniel Mulé, The Gates of Hell

Island Trees High School, Levittown, NY
Teacher: J. Peter Hansen

Read Daniel’s essay
Listen to The Gates of Hell
View the score

Hello, My name is Daniel Mulé; I am in 11th grade. I began my music education in 4th grade, playing Alto Saxophone and later switching to the tenor saxophone. It was in high school when I really started to progress in the field of music. It was being in band, jazz band, and taking a music theory course that helped me to become a well-rounded musician.

Playing the saxophone was what really got me interested in music. Being a student in music, I began to audition for NYSSMA, in order to be judged and improve my playing skills. I began auditioning for NYSSMA in the 4th grade, and continued up the ladder of accomplishments through other auditions. In the 9th grade I was selected for the All County Jazz Band. In addition to my auditions, I also began to play with my uncle’s band this previous winter for the learning experience. Playing the saxophone in all these different environments really encouraged me to look beyond playing and to start learning theory.

I began learning theory and writing musical compositions in 10th grade for music theory course. At first I struggled with learning the complexity of the machines and computer programs, but later in the year, one of my compositions was selected for All State in Rochester, New York, where I attended the Young Composers Conference. Being selected for All State is what really inspired me to continue composition. Through my accomplishments, my love for playing saxophone, and adoration for writing music, I hope to continue on to college to study music. Hopefully one day I will be able to write and play music professionally.

High School Runner Up: Kenneth Blume, Translation

Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT
Teacher: Barbara Freedman

Middle School Winner: Erin Graham, The Starship

Donald H. Eichhorn Middle School, Lewisburg, PA
Teacher: Dale Orris

Read Erin’s essay
Listen to The Starship
View the score

I am currently a 7th grader at Donald H. Eichborn Middle School in Lewisburg, PA. I started writing music when I was in 4th grade. My first song was called “The Nightingale” and sounded like a kindergartner hitting random notes on the piano. In fact, most of my songs sounded like that until I started percussion lessons in 5th grade. It’s amazing what a good drumbeat or marimba part can do for a song. Along with writing music, I still play percussion and specialize in marimba (my all-time favorite instrument!) and drum set. I can also manage to plunk out a few notes on a keyboard. I play in prep band, advanced band, jazz band, and orchestra. Outside of musical things, I enjoy being a backyard astronomer, making movies, and Tae Kwan Do.

Middle School Runner Up: Lindsey Zeichner, Fire

Chatham Middle School, Chatham, NJ
Teacher: Dean Kravitz

Elementary School Winner: Spencer Young, March of the Ogres

Endeavor Elementary School, Issaquah, WA
Teacher: Holly Miller

Read Spencer’s essay
Listen to March of the Ogres
View the score

Spencer Young is 9 years old and lives in Sammamish, Washington. He began taking piano lessons at the age of 5, and has developed a keen interest in classical music. He studied music theory early on, and has a natural grasp of the subject. His first composition was a short piece he wrote in 1st grade. Last year, his entry into the PTSA’s Reflections Program won the Outstanding Interpretation award at the state level for his age category.

Spencer likes to compose, because it’s fun to share musical ideas. Sometimes he hears music in his dreams, and that gives him ideas for composing. His favorite composers are Mozart, Liszt, and Rachmaninoff (although his hands aren’t big enough to play Liszt or Rachmaninoff yet).

Spencer has many other interests. He enjoys school, and his favorite subjects are math, science, and reading. He also enjoys many different sports, including soccer, basketball, track, and kickball.

Elementary Runner Up: William Lin, We Have Changed

Potowmack Elementary, Sterling, VA
Teachers: Jennifer Iodice and Adina Popa