Winners of nationwide Young Composers Competition announced

Manchester University’s Music Department today announced the three winners of its nationwide Young Composers Competition:

  • Daniel Saylor, "Character No. 1"
  • Ryan Dockery, "For You"
  • Scott Fish, "Psalm 24"

Pieces composed by the high school students will be featured at a concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28, in Wine Recital Hall on the North Manchester, Ind., campus. The concert is free and open to the public.

It is part of the Manchester University Music Department New Music Festival from March 26 to 28.

The festival offers five contemporary classical music concerts with new works by 45 composers who will be attending from throughout the United States. All concerts are free and open to the public. Choral, chamber music, solo voice and electroacoustic works are among those to be performed. Guest appearances include mezzo-soprano Ashlee Bickley and pianist Robert Nance on March 27. For the concert schedule, click here.

The Young Composers Competition, reading sessions and presentations were added to this year’s event, with support from the Dr. Joyce A. Nolen and Rev. Wilfred E. Nolen Endowment Fund for Music.

Dockery attends Mt. Vernon High School in Fortville, Ind., where he is active in his school choir, as well as the Indianapolis Youth Chorale and the Indiana All-State Honor Choir. He is a volunteer at Ten West Center for the Arts in Fortville, where he has directed shows and musicals. In his composition, "For You," he employs techniques that oppose conventional rules of composition in order to support the message of the piece: that God can take ugly, awkward, strange and confusing things and make them beautiful. 

Fish is a 17-year-old composer from Madison, Wis. He started studying music and playing guitar at age 10 and almost immediately began composing his own works. At 14, he began taking performance and composition classes at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under professors Richard Davis and Stephen Dembski. He will enroll in the music school in the fall of 2015 to study composition.

Saylor is a composer and percussionist hailing from Orlando, Fla. Taking his influence from 20th century art music as well as the modern music landscape, his music reflects everything from modern scientific discoveries to the serene paths of nature. As a percussionist, Daniel has played with the University High School Percussion Ensemble, Jazz II ensemble and on vibraphone with the Big Band.

March 26, 2015

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