Our Composer Mentorship Program

By Barry Kempton

On Saturday, September 7th, four young composers aged 15-18 met at The Schubert Club Museum for an introduction to our tenth annual Composer Mentorship Program.  Started back in 2004 when David Evan Thomas was The Schubert Club’s composer-in-residence, this program now provides young musicians with composition mentorship by one of our two composers-in-residence, Edie Hill.  Over the course of the season, they will be have lessons, study scores, receive guidance on the business side of composing, meet some of the Twin Cities leading musicians like Philip Brunelle, attend concerts and have the opportunity to write a new piece for performance by the professional wind quintet Pavia Winds.

Composition by its very nature can be a lonely pursuit.  Especially when in high school, there’s a good chance that a captivated composer will be one of a kind in her or his class.  Young composers from previous years have mentioned the confidence the program has given them to follow their passion simply because they have met other like-minded fanatics from other parts of the Twin Cities area.

For The Schubert Club, this program is one key element of our commitment to supporting young people in their musical development.  Probably not unique in the world (what is truly unique?), but certainly a rare program that I am delighted we administer.

So welcome Isaac Blumfield, Jacob Dominguez-Nelson, William Decourt , and Spencer Hammersten to the program.  Thank you Edie Hill for the extraordinary lengths you go to, which make the program so effective. Thank you Pavia Winds for being such a generous ensemble to these creative young minds and the development of their imaginative new sound worlds.  And thank you to the MAHADH Fund of HRK Foundation for its financial support and genuine interest in the progress of these young composers.

We will feature the music written by the program participants, performed by Pavia Winds in a lunchtime Courtroom Concert on Thursday April 17th, 2014.  I promise you it’s an inspiring performance to attend if you can.

Enjoy your week.