Workshop hosts young composers

Thirty budding student composers from Lower Mainland high schools and community colleges caught the beat of UBC's School of Music recently.

The school's first-ever music composition workshop offered the students an opportunity to experience a university student composer's typical day.

"These are music students, some of whom are taking theory or composition classes," says Music Prof. Stephen Chatman. "Some are studying composition privately and others are instrumental performers. We are trying to reach out to the community and this is a natural means of doing that."

The school offers a wide variety of courses including classical music composition, orchestration, jazz arranging, theory, film music, computer music and performance.

Chatman, and colleagues Prof. Keith Hamel and Assoc. Prof. Eugene Wilson led the visitors through a composition seminar and a tour of the computer music studio. Assoc. Prof. Michael Tenzer directed a special demonstration by the Gamelan Ensemble comprised of students in the School of Music.

"We gave the students relevant career information, encouragement and a first-hand opportunity to experience an environment in which to pursue a career in music composition," says Chatman.

The school has a strong national reputation and many of its composition students have won national and international awards. This year there are 20 composition majors studying for bachelor's, master's and doctoral music degrees.

The visiting students came from high schools in Vancouver, Burnaby and Delta as well as Vancouver Community College, Langara College and Capilano College.

"It cost us only $35 for refreshments and we were able to provide a meaningful experience for these high school and college students," says Chatman.