Karl Middleman, Artistic Director
The Philadelphia Classical Symphony Young Composers Project
Hear the Fanfares Selected for Performance
August 2004-April 2005
Dear Music Educator,
Is there a budding Beethoven in your midst? A maturing Mozart? Here is a unique opportunity to nurture your students' creative musical talents.
The Philadelphia Classical Symphony in collaboration with the Partners in Distance Learning Classroom Arts Project, proudly announces the seventh Young Composers Project. This year's compositions will be presented at the Symphony's A Brass Bonanza concert on Saturday, April 16th at 2:00 p.m. at Philadelphia Cathedral at 3723 Chestnut Street (corner of 38th and Chestnut st) in Philadelphia. We hope that you will encourage your talented music students to be a part of this extraordinary event. The Young Composers Project is designed for all junior high school musicians. Your students need never have composed music before!
The program features the 11-member professional brass and percussion ensemble of the Philadelphia Classical Symphony, and comprises many of the finest professional musicians in the Delaware Valley. Symphony Family Concerts have been named "Best of Philly 2000" Kids Culture by Philadelphia Magazine.
Philadelphia Classical Symphony
The purpose of the Young Composers Project (YCP) is to encourage lifelong interest and activity in music among junior high and senior high school-aged students by equipping them with basic skills in music composition, mentoring them in the development of those skills, and providing selected students with the opportunity to hear their music professionally performed at a live concert. Through utilization of the electronic resources of the web and through its collaboration with Partners in Distance Learning, the YCP is poised to engage dozens of school districts throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York in uniquely creative partnerships that are stimulating, educative and fun.
Although student instrumentalists have numerous options available to learn their instruments, the outlets available to junior high and high school-aged composers are limited and do not offer the kind of unique training available only through orchestral performance. In addition to needing instruction in composition, students rarely, if ever, have an opportunity to hear their own music compositions played by professional musicians. In 1996, in recognition of the profound need to provide student musicians with quality instruction in music composition and to encourage them to try their hand at composing for orchestra, the Philadelphia Classical Symphony, in collaboration with the Composition Department of the Esther Boyer College of Music of Temple University, initiated the annual Young Composers Project (YCP.) Symphony family programs were planned to provide student composers with an opportunity to hear their work played, usually to a full house. A new dimension was added to the YCP in 2004, when a collaboration was initiated with the Classroom Arts Project of Partners in Distance Learning in order to spread the availability of the YCP to students in underserved communities in central and western Pennsylvania. A new principal partner was added in Dr. David Berlin, an award-winning composer and educator, whose unique contribution included creating a web-based curriculum called How to Write a Fanfare. The purpose of How to Write a Fanfare. was to provide a complete and interactive curriculum related to the Compose A Fanfare theme of the 2004-05 YCP that students could work from throughout the year. The curriculum, available at http://tozier.net/dberlin/fanfare/index.htm introduces all of the brass instruments of the orchestra, but also, in carefully graded sequence, provides a thorough introduction to the elements of music and music composition. Now, through the electronic resources of How to Write a Fanfare., Students will be able to participate each year in the program. And each will receive individuated instruction. From the participants, three will be selected to have their pieces performed at the April 16th concert, A Brass Bonanza, to be held at Philadelphia Cathedral at 38th and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia at 2:00 p.m.
Results from Past Projects
Our experience shows that most potential student composers are unprepared to generate music from abstract models such as symphonies. However, when offered exciting and engaging themes such as Musical Toys (1997) Superheroes (1998) Marches (1999) and Western Themes (2000) students quickly cast aside their inhibitions and engage in music composition with imagination and confidence. The key to the Symphony's success in past projects has been to approach music composition through accessible characteristic themes. We expect the Compose A Fanfare (2004-05) Project to demonstrate similar appeal.
Past project winners include 14 students from the following schools: Masterman, Girard Academic Music Program, Radnor, Strathhaven, Germantown Friends, Central, Girls High, and the High School for Creative and Performing Arts. Three students, one from Radnor High School, one from the Girard Academic Music Program, and one from the Masterman School, are now planning careers in music, based in part, on their positive experience of the Young Composers Contest. One two-time winner who is now a composition student at the University of the Arts credits the Young Composers Project for significantly influencing his career path.
Benefits for students in the YCP include the following:
A live and taped professional performance of students composition by the brass section of the Philadelphia Classical Symphony
The satisfaction and thrill of developing a new artistic skill and seeing it bear fruition over a year's time
Student's regular classroom teachers are engaged in the project, as well
Collaboration with a professional composer and conductor in matters of orchestration, score and parts preparation.
Educating young audiences at the Philadelphia Classical Symphony concerts with a unique perspective that emphasizes the importance and excitement surrounding the compositions of living composers (of all the pieces on our programs, the young composers' pieces elicit the most audience applause!)
Here's how to get started. First, encourage your students to think about fanfares. Fanfares may be as simple as a simple trumpet call or as complex as Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. For inspiration, you may wish to consult the list at the end of this letter and have your students listen to fanfares. You will also find many fanfares easily accessible on the Fanfare Resource. To get started, your students may register at the Fanfare Resource: http://tozier.net/dberlin/fanfare/index.htm The Fanfare Resource is an original and comprehensive interactive curriculum on the web for teaching children how to compose music at the computer. Your students will learn step-by-step about the exciting sound world of brass and other orchestral instruments, and how to write music for them. Bit by bit, in an entertaining manner, they will learn to notate their ideas from the simplest melodies to complex multi-part brass works. All instruction will be accomplished over the internet with the mentoring of Dr. David Berlin. Berlin, an award winning composer, multi-media specialist, music educator and creator of the Cybermusic Academy, will, along with Maestro Karl Middleman, select at least three fanfares to be performed by the Symphony Brass in concert on April 16 2:00 p.m. at the Classical Symphony's Family Concert at Phildelphia Cathedral. If a winning composer is a student of a P.D.L. member school, Partners in Distance Learning will provide transportation to Philadelphia for the students and their families so that everyone can be there for this incredible event. To cap the wonderful day, our budding Beethovens, families and guests are all invited to a post-concert reception.
Your experience, as a leader in your students' musical life is invaluable throughout this process. You may discover ingeneous ways to participate. Mark Johnson of the Masterman School, utilized the Young Composers Project for an entire class of music theory students. We welcome your ideas and suggestions!
Please carefully review the enclosed guidelines and encourage your students to participate in this enriching project. All entries must be postmarked by February 1, 2005.
1. Access to The Fanfare Resource and free instruction from award-winning composer and educator David Berlin to guide and encourage them in developing their ideas.
2. Invitation to the Brass Bonanza concert to be held at Philadelphia Cathedral at 3723 Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia on April 16th at 2:00 p.m.
3. Celebratory reception following the concert for all participants
1. Performance of their music by the fully professional Classcial Symphony Brass Ensemble on Saturday, April 16, 2005 at 2 p.m. at the Brass Bonanza concert to be held at Philadelphia Cathedral at 3723 Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia.
2. Transportation to the concert on April 16th and complimentary accomodations provided for the family courtesy of the Classroom Arts Project for students from P.D.L member schools. Non P.D.L. winners must provide their own transportation and accommodations. Philadelphia Classical Symphony is prepared to provide homestay accommodations for older winners.
3. Celebratory reception immediately following the for all participants
4. Recognition and award presentation at the concert
5. Invitation to a followup meeting with Maestro Middleman and Dr. Berlin at which a recording of the concert will be played and the work critiqued
The following selections may be useful for your students' listening preparation:
Standard Military Bugle Calls
Concerto for Orchestra Bela Bartók
Pictures at an Exhibition, opening Modest Musorgsky
Thus Spake Zarathustra, opening Richard Strauss
Fanfare for the Common Man Aaron Copland
Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by C.M. von Weber, mvt.iv Paul Hindemith
Symphony No. 4, mvt. 1 P.I. Tchaikovsky
Capriccio Espagnol, mvt.4 Rimsky- Korsakoff
Le Sacre du Preintemps Igor Stravinsky
Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra Benjamin Britten
Your participation makes a real difference. Thank you for your consideration.
Karl Middleman, Artistic Director
1) Composers must be full-time elementary, junior high or senior high school students living in PA or students or PDL member schools in other states.
2) Instrumentation limits are:
2 French horns, 3 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Tuba , Timpani (one player), 2 Percussionists
3) Length of the composition must be between 15 and 90 seconds.
4) Parts and score may be be in ink and clear. Electronically (computer) generated scores, such as Sibalius or Finale that are saved and submitted as .pdf files) parts and audio files (.mid or .mp3) are preferred. The Classical Symphony reserves the right to reject compositions with poor legibility, notational problems, errors, or other problems that limit practical application.
5) All compositions must be original. They may not have been performed publically prior to April 16, 2005. (Readings and rehearsals at one's school are a good idea.)
6) Entries should include a complete score, separate parts for each instrument, an audio rendition of the music and an optional supporting portfolio the contents of which are on the website http://tozier.net/dberlin/fanfare/index.htm
7) The deadline for receipt of complete score and parts is March 10, 2005. Send to:
Submit the files as email attachments.
Alternatively you may submit materials by mail.
2021 Still Water Drive
Gibsonia PA 15044
Materials submitted by mail should be clearly identified and labeled. Print materials and/or computer files on CD may be submitted by mail.
No materials can be returned to you unless you include a stamped self-addressed mailing envelope.
8) Students are responsible for providing the requisite number of parts and scores including copies by March 10, 2005 to the address above.
9) Students are required to attend the performance on Saturday, April 16 at 2:00 p.m. A Composition will only eligible for performance consideration if the student plans to attend the concert.
10) No composer's music will be eligible to win more than two Young Composers Contests.
11) Direct all questions to Fanfare_contest@excite.com
12) The judges will select three (3) winning compositions to be performed by the Classical Symphony Brass Ensemble. The decision of the judges is final. Winners will be notified no later than April 13, 2004.
Karl Middleman, Artistic Director
As a collaborative project between the Philadelphia Classical Symphony and Classroom Arts Project, the Young Composers Project offers an annual composition contest designed to foster composition in school-children in central and western Pennsylvania.
A principal related goal for this project is enhancing the appeal of classical music for younger generation audiences, by making music accessible, appealing and interactive.
Mission of the Philadelphia Classical Symphony
The mission of the Philadelphia Classical Symphony is to promote new ways of understanding and presenting the history of music to contemporary audiences.
Symphony Family Concerts are intended to involve, entertain, and educate their audiences in novel and thrilling ways. Each program centers on a theme that is explored via collaborations with other performing companies such as dance and theater groups and choirs. We also offer special lectures and auxiliary social functions to enliven the performances and add audience appeal.
As part of our commitment to audience development, we present the Young Composers Project which is designed to demystify and delight our young audiences through a process of discovery that is unstuffy and participatory.
In the Greater Philadelphia area, Karl Middleman is familiar to classical music audiences as a composer, lecturer, and guest conductor of many orchestras and choirs. He is Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Classical Symphony, an orchestra he founded in 1993. His Classical Symphony has been hailed by such diverse sounding boards as 19th Century Music, Philadelphia Weekly, and Philadelphia Magazine. In addition, he conducted well renowned musical groups like the Orchestra Society, the Concerto Soloists, and members of the Munich Philharmonic.
But, where he stands apart is in his passion for motivating and inspiring young children to appreciate, perform, and create music. His Family Concert Series have earned him recognition as a musical Pied Piper as well as comparisons with Danny Kaye. His concerts are frequently organized around captivating themes such as Handle's Dueling Sopranos and are preceded by lectures, participatory workshops, and multi-media presentations to enhance listener involvement. His orchestra earned the award, "Best Children's Concerts" in 2000 by the Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine. Maestro Middleman initiated the Young Composers Project in 1996 resulting in the premieres of compositions by 14 Pennsylvania high school students. Karl Middleman is an ideal campaigner for connecting new music with new audiences. Under Middleman's direction, contemporary compositions by both established and aspiring musicians are often featured by his orchestra.
Dr. David Berlin is a prominent influence in Pennsylvania music education and composition; his creativity is nationally recognized. He has received numerous honors and awards over his illustrious career, including the PA Composers Project Award, the Salop-Slates Award in Music Composition, and the ASCAP Standard Awards for "Best Practices in Arts Education in Pennsylvania." Millersville University offered a special tribute "A Music of David Berlin Day."
In addition to a Doctorate in Music Composition from West Virginia University, David Berlin earned two Master's in Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University in composition and music education. His experiences include developing and teaching courses for major universities and public school systems, including serving as coordinator of graduate studies at the Carnegie Mellon University Music Department. He served as liaison in coordinating teacher training in music for six Pennsylvania and West Virginia universities for the North Allegheny School District. During his tenure at North Allegheny Dr. Berlin designed and taught courses in music theory, composition, electronic music, music history, multi-media arts, instrumental music and general music at all grade levels.
More information about him and his activities, examples of his work and other information can be seen by pointing your browser to http://www.davidberlin.com
Partners in Distance Learning &endash; Classroom Arts Project
Celebrating a Decade of Distinguished Service: the Partners in Distance Learning, founded 1994, is a non-profit corporation committed to expanding learning opportunities for students through the use of technology. The PDL is a consortium of public and private (K-12) schools (mostly rural & inner city) and those universities, museums, art centers, and agencies committed to offering high-quality programs at costs affordable to economically disadvantaged schools.
The PDL believes technology must do more than seek to equalize learning opportunities between low- and high-wealth schools; the potential to use technology to create unique learning environments for students must be fully pursued.
On behalf of members:
(1) The PDL strives to secure government and private funding to advance the innovate use of technology in meeting the instructional needs of all learners;
(2) The PDL proposes and shares effective instructional strategies and unique teaching possibilities; and,
(3) The PDL promotes exemplary programs, seeks best value in equipment and services, and advances policies and practices to ensure the sound instructional integration of technology.
Since 1994, the PDL made available over 4.3 million in federal/state grants directly to schools to acquire videoconferencing equipment. These funds helped rural schools create 286 distance learning classrooms.
The PDL financially and technically helped 21 museums and historical sites establish distance learning programs. No other association may have helped create as many virtual field trip partners. Over 50,000 students participated in a virtual field trip from a PDL-museum affiliate.
In 2001, the Classroom Arts Project, designed by the PDL, was cited by an independent panel as "a huge potential for making a contribution nationally."
In 1999, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture cited the PDL for Exemplary Performance in creating a rural distance learning network worthy of national replication.
While the past defines who we are, it is to the future that the people committed and dedicated to the PDL concept turn: a future where the reflective and effective use of technology can significantly expand learning opportunities for all students beyond the boundaries of distance and time.