Superintendent Cyndy S. Taymore
360 Lynn Fells Parkway
Melrose , MA 02176
For Immediate Release
Friday, Oct. 21, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Melrose Orchestra Students to Work with Composer in Residency
Suite of Music to be Performed in Conjunction with 100th Season of Melrose Symphony Orchestra
MELROSE — Superintendent Cyndy Taymore is pleased to announce that the Melrose Public Schools’ orchestra students will be working with a composer in residency this school year to create several pieces that will be performed at the 2018 spring concert.
The show will coincide with the Melrose Symphony Orchestra’s 100th season in 2017-2018. To help celebrate this momentous occasion, the Melrose Public Schools’ Orchestra Program will work with composer Robert J. Bradshaw to research, write and produce four original compositions.
“This project is designed to help build a stronger relationship between the school orchestra program and the Melrose Symphony Orchestra, which is the oldest, continuously performing, all volunteer orchestra in the country,” said MPS Orchestra Teacher Luke Miller. “It’s a special milestone that I want the students to be aware of and be a part of, and working with composer Robert Bradshaw is a great interactive way to make that happen.”
Beginning in January, Bradshaw will take on the role of composer-in-residence, visiting the Melrose Youth Orchestra (grades three through 12), Melrose Middle School Orchestra, and the Melrose High School Orchestra’s ensemble rehearsals four times each over the course of several months.
As part of his visits, Bradshaw will speak to students about life as a composer, music theory, music composition, the role an orchestra plays in 2017 and more. He will then coach the young musicians on how to write their own melodies, collect ideas and provide feedback on how to improve their pieces.
At the end of the school year, Bradshaw will compile the students’ work and ideas, which he will then use to write a suite of music — one piece for the youth, middle and high school orchestras, and a final composition for all three groups.
In the fall, Bradshaw will provide Miller with the compositions, and students will rehearse the pieces throughout the year to be performed at the May 2018 spring concert. Alumni of the MPS’ Orchestra Program will also be invited back to be part of the special grand finale performance.
“The pieces are really going to be based off of the students and their thoughts and ideas,” Miller said. “The finale movement will feature different levels of music composition that will allow all students, no matter their age or skill level, to confidently play the piece. I’m hoping to have 150 students performing at the same time.”
Residents won’t have to wait until next spring to get a taste of the music, however. Miller plans to put together a slideshow presentation, featuring clips of students working with Bradshaw, their ideas and the progression of the over year-long process before it comes to fruition. The slideshow will be presented at this year’s annual Spring Orchestra Concert on Wednesday, May 24, at 7 p.m. in the Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School auditorium.
About Robert J. Bradshaw:
An award winning composer, Bradshaw’s music has been heard around the world and is infused with modern culture and historical significance. His steampunk opera, Deus ex machina, won two gold medals and was named one of the top 10 albums of 2015 by the Global Music Awards. A devoted advocate for the availability of music education for all children, Bradshaw accepts residencies where he helps children compose and perform their own music.