This fall on Oct 17 Amici is holding a fundraiser: An Evening with the Artists. One of the projects that we do which will benefit from this is our Young Composers Workshop program. For several years we have been visiting Earl Haig Secondary School to work with students in the Grade 12 composition class in the Claude Watson Secondary Arts Program and to play their compositions. They compose a short work for clarinet trio as one of their class assignments and we play it for them and record it so that they can hear right away the fruits of their labours. This has proved to be a lot of fun and rewarding at the same time. The students are keen to hear their own works and even more so, they are curious to hear what their friends write. They are very supportive of one another and everyone shows great imagination. Alan Torok, their teacher, chooses the most promising composition, the student refines it and we perform it on one our series concerts in the following season.
I think our audiences enjoy these pieces immensely and several of the students have gone on to study composition at University or Conservatory Programs and have done very well. I particularly like watching the look on the face of each budding composer as they listen to us navigate through some interesting, some challenging, indeed some impossible passage that they have written for us.
We have been incredibly impressed with the high level of talent in these classes and have always had an excellent piece to add to our concert program.
Bravo to Alan and to his gifted students!