2009 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 are 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 2009 T+L Conference in Denver, Colorado, October 28–30, 2009.

High School Winner: Emily Boyer, Gothic Memory Land

Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT
Teacher: Barbara Freedman

Read Emily’s essay
Listen to Gothic Memory Land
View the score

My name is Emily Boyer and I am currently enrolled in the 11th grade at Greenwich High School in Connecticut. My life in music began in the 3rd grade when I started playing the violin. However, I soon realized that I wanted to play a wind instrument and I picked up the clarinet two years later. I have always displayed a natural talent for music. Playing the clarinet, as well as every other member of the clarinet family, has really helped that talent flourish. Besides the clarinet, I have experience on eleven or so other instruments ranging from flute to trombone to guitar.

Entering high school was a giant step in my musical career as a student. I was introduced to the bass clarinet and began auditioning for my county’s region band, the All State Music Festival, as well as the New England Music Festival. I have participated in all three festivals for the last three years. I also wrote my first composition in the 9th grade using Logic Pro 7; this accomplishment made me realize how much music is important to me. I continue to write music using the endless possibilities of this amazing program.

I know that music will always be an important element in my life. I would love to pursue music in college however I am also very interested in anthropology and archaeology. Aside from music my other interests and hobbies include fashion, art, knitting, and foreign cultures.

Middle School Winner: Sidarth Jayadev, The Daedal

School of Choice, Sunnyvale, CA
Teacher: Alexis Alrich

Read Sidarth’s essay
Listen to The Daedal
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My name is Sidarth Jayadev. I am 11 years old and in 6th grade. I have been studying Musicianship and Composition for four years at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. I have been studying Western violin for 7 years and simultaneously studying East Indian Carnatic music for 5 years.

I started composing music at the age of 5 on the piano. I get ideas for compositions while I am playing piano or violin. I have composed string quartets, trios for piano, violin and cello, and duets for two violins. My compositions have been played during recitals at the San Francisco Conservatory. I have written over 15 compositions so far. I composed music for the opera “The Nightingale” which was staged at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2006.

I like to mix Western and Eastern music in all my compositions. My favorite composers are Maurice Ravel, Bach and Tchaikovsky. My favorite violinist and muse is Jascha Heifetz.

I love to read books and learn many languages. My inspiration for music also comes from my travels. My favorite countries of travel are Egypt and Greece. I would like to pursue music studies in college.

Elementary School Winner: Spencer Young, The Rain Cloud

Endeavor Elementary School, Issaquah, WA
Teacher: Holly Miller

Read Spencer’s essay
Listen to The Rain Cloud
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Spencer Young is 10 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. This year, his music teacher asked him to write the music for the school musical. He wrote eight short pieces in just a little over two months.

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. Also, he has started computer programming and has begun to learn several computer languages.