The Owen Sound Sun Times ran a story yesterday about the spring play being staged by one of the local high schools, St. Mary’s. The school is staging William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a production that director and drama teacher Jody Addley says has been “student-driven.“
The music for the show has been written by two senior students, using Sibelius:
Senior students Griff George and Ian Campbell wrote all of the music, which will be performed by a seven-piece woodwind ensemble directed by George. Neither knew quite “how big it was” when music teacher Gerard Wilmes gave them the challenge last year, Campbell said.
They started composing using Sibelius music notation software last August. “We just think of ideas and write them down and bounce them off each other,” Campbell said.
Wilmes said the composers needed very little direction.
“I talked a little bit about how to create these different moods, but in the end it was up to them to take that and create the music,” he said. “It’s a pretty big deal for them. It’s not quite the same as sitting down and writing a novel, but it certainly is a huge creative endeavor.”
Addley had some ideas for the musical moods she wanted for the sometimes surreal scenes, just as she had suggestions to help the actors find their way into the piece.
“I give them the idea of what I want, the basic structure,” she said. “I give them a broad outline and they fill in the little details.”
This is a great example of how Sibelius can be used as a medium for exchanging ideas between students, and how it can help unleash the creative talent of composers and arrangers young and old, allowing them to achieve something that will be enjoyed by hundreds of people.