It’s always a thrill to hear about Sibelius being used by young musicians starting out in composition, so it was a delight to receive an email from Walt Boyer, specialist music teacher at Atwater Elementary School in Shorewood, Wisconsin, about his school’s involvement in Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra‘s Arts in Community Education programme, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Musicians from the orchestra visit schools and work with all of the school’s students: the project is completely inclusive, and all of the students work with Sibelius Student to produce their compositions.
At first students collaborate with a partner sharing ideas and experiences. “I enjoy working with my partner. We chose to use the instruments that we play, guitar and percussion, to create the feelings of fear, discovery and anger expressed in the Release section,” says one 6th grader. Under the guidance of Mr. Boyer, students use Sibelius 5 software to write, edit and listen to their composition.
At the end of the project, orchestra member Roger Ruggerri incorporated compositions written by Atwater Elementary School students over the past seven years of the programme to create an eight-minute, three-movement piece using strings and percussion titled The Giver Fantasy, which was premiered by the MSO in April, and will be performed by travelling ACE ensembles when they visit schools across southern Wisconsin.
Keep up the great work, Mr Boyer, the MSO, and the students of Atwater Elementary School! Do check out the complete story.