The Aliénor International Harpsichord Composition Competition, held once every four years, was recently held to promote new compositions for the harpsichord. Fifty compositions were submitted from musicians all across the globe, including from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. Of those compositions, six winners were selected along with four honorable mentions, one being UWSP sophomore, Sebastian Petak.
Petak, the first UWSP student to receive honors from this competition, received the Honorable Mention for his composition titled “Industrial Times.” The composition will be included next at the Southeastern and Midwestern Historic Keyboard Societies’ joint conference in Cincinnati this March where winning compositions will be selected.
“Shortly after beginning this piece, I looked up some of the past winners to find that many of them were professors, or had incredible credentials such as performing at Carnegie Hall. Knowing the past entrants lowered the expectation of winning,” Petak said. “I was very happily shocked when I found out I received the Honorable Mention.”
Several other UWSP music students, such as Alexandria Mueller, Jacob Schroeder, Brent Platta and Peter Brenden have been hard at work, creating original compositions that have been chosen to be performed by the UWSP Wind Ensemble and/or Campus Band this year.
“Each semester student composers have the opportunity to have their works performed on the composers’ concert … Dr. Young [the composition director] and other music faculty also help find venues for our pieces by asking people they know if they would be interested in premiering a student work,” said Alexandria Mueller, a junior in the UWSP music program with a composition entitled “Odyssey.”
Music students also had the opportunity to compose a piece to be played at the inauguration of Chancellor Bernie Patterson.
“It is my belief that we all compose on one level or another, but I didn't consider myself a composer until my sophomore year. Now, as I grow and challenge myself as a musician, I was given the opportunity and was chosen out of the many that composed in the fanfare competition held for the inauguration of Chancellor Bernie Patterson ,” said Brent Platta, a senior UWSP music student and composer of a piece entitled “Dawning Venture.”
Jacob Schroeder, a senior in the music program, composed a piece named, “A Journey Unfailing.”
“Although my piece was not selected to be performed during the ceremony, the UWSP Campus Band will be playing it later this spring,” Schroeder said.
Composer of a piece entitled “8 Variations in C Minor,” Peter Breden also wrote his composition for the Campus Band.
“I compose so I can create an original piece of music and allow my creativity to show what I envision in a work,” Breden said. “Composing music allows me to take my creativity to an elevated level by communicating directly to an audience rather than only adding my interpretation to an existing piece of music.”