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Student Composer Works with Eugene Symphony

Posted by Deb Jolda at 1/13/2017

Thurston High's Wesley Coleman, a junior, was one of five students across the state who were selected to work with master composer Robert Kyr. Under a National Endowment for the Arts grant, the group collaborated to produce a new work based on Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." The Eugene Symphony performed the resulting theme and variations, entitled "Ode to the Future," at the Symphony's November 17, 2016, concert at the Hult Center.

In addition to his interest in composition, Wesley also sings and plays piano and sax and is active in the school's vocal ensembles and band ensembles. In an interview for the Eugene Symphony magazine, he said that he has been composing on the piano since fourth grade, and his career goal is to be a film and media composer.

"The composition project has been meaningful to me because it has given me the opportuity to work with other very talented young composers," Coleman said. "I have been incredibly grateful to work with Dr. Kyr who mentored and guided me throughout the process. I start by experimenting with the melody on the piano where most of my compositions take shape. From there I take ideas that are cohesive and develop them into different variations adding rhythmic and harmonic textures."

Read more about the project in OregonArtsWatch.