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Composition contest to celebrate the Great Lakes

  • "The Beauty of Mystery" by Graceann Warn

Posted on February 22, 2016

Grand Valley students will flex their musical muscles by creating original compositions inspired by the current Art Gallery exhibition, "Great Lakes: Image & Word." The one-minute compositions will be performed by the New Music Ensemble in rapid succession and judged by a guest panel and the listening audience for various prizes.

The New Music Ensemble Composition Competition will take place February 25 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Art Gallery, located in the Performing Arts Center.

"Great Lakes: Image & Word" is a visual exploration of the natural resources and region of the Great Lakes. David Newell, Gallery and Collections curator of exhibitions, said the showcase spotlights the unique life experiences of those who live in this region of the Midwest through paintings, poems and more.

Nikolaus Schroeder, senior music and nonprofit administration major from Big Rapids, said he is striving to create a humanistic "balance" between the art and his composition.

"I tried to respond both to artists' and poets' personal emotions, and the ideas and concepts that the Great Lakes represent to all of us — grandeur, calmness, chaos, reflectiveness, entertainment, romance and more," Schroeder said. "It is very common practice to compose about places and concepts that have personal meaning, so it is fulfilling to artistically respond to the lakes that I have been visiting for nearly a decade."

Nicole Herman, music major from Chelsea, said one of the biggest challenges of composing such a short piece is "making sure it doesn't get too complicated or overwhelming and not cramming too much in, but still having enough content to convey the message."

"Great Lakes: Image & Word" is on display through April 1. For more information about the exhibit, call the Art Gallery at (616) 331-2563.

For more information about the competition, call the Music Department at (616) 331-3484.