Writer’s Ear Contest Experiences Surge of Popularity
~ Winners To Be Announced On March 1, 2015 ~
Staunton, Virginia (February 23, 2015) — Hundreds of students in the local area have been busy in the past two months, listening intently to five intriguing musical works, and letting their imaginations run wild. It’s all part of the Writer’s Ear Project, a contest sponsored by the Staunton Music Festival to educate and inspire school-age children through great music. The music featured this year is all from the 20th and 21st centuries.
The contest was open to all children (ages 8-14) living in Staunton, Waynesboro, or Augusta County. Students were invited to pick one of five musical pieces specifically recorded for them. Each student then created a short story or poem expressing scenes, emotions or images inspired by the music. The submissions were judged on originality, connection to the music and style of presentation.
The Writer’s Ear Project exploded in popularity last year. This year proved even more successful with judges carefully reviewing a staggering 426 student stories and poems in order to pick the ten best.
“It’s hard to imagine we’ve gone from 60 students involved to over 400 in just a couple years,” says Jason Stell, Executive Director of the Staunton Music Festival. “It’s also wonderful that we’ve been able to rethink the common misconception that young people are put off by classical music, especially contemporary classical music. Many, many students got really invested in these pieces.”
Winners will read their compositions aloud to an audience of several hundred people, along with a live performance of the musical works by the three musicians from James Madison University who recorded the works last fall: Clara Mannino, flute; Ryan Hoffman, cello; and Luis Gonzales, piano.
The public is invited to attend the free concert, awards ceremony, and reception to be held Sunday March 1st at 2:00pm at Mary Baldwin College’s Francis Auditorium. The winning students receive gift cards to Books-a-Million furnished courtesy of First Bank and Trust.
The Staunton Music Festival aims to engage and enrich audiences with a diverse selection of historic and contemporary chamber music, performed by an exceptional ensemble of international and American performers. Staunton Music Festival recently made all of its nearly 30 concerts entirely free to youth, aged 18 and under.