|
|
|
The Telegram
  • Ilion orchestra students get virtual lesson from famous composer

  • Ilion Junior-Senior high school orchestra students worked one-on-one with a famous composer Thursday. Sean O’Loughlin listened to the group of about 16 seventh and eighth graders play his composition “Eclipsys” before giving them tips and actually conducting from California via Skype.

    • email print
  • »  RELATED CONTENT
    • FILES/LINKS
  • Ilion Junior-Senior high school orchestra students worked one-on-one with a famous composer Thursday.
    The catch: he was about 3,000 miles away.
    Sean O’Loughlin listened to the group of about 16 seventh and eighth graders play his composition “Eclipsys” before giving them tips and actually conducting from California via Skype.
    “Music is just rhythm on a page and it stays dormant until we play it,” O’Loughlin said, from a screen in front of the room.
    The orchestra had been performing many of O’Loughlin’s pieces so orchestra teacher Andrew Fund made contact with the composer and asked if he’d be interested in doing a lesson with the students.
    O’Loughlin, originally from Syracuse, also is a frequent guest conductor with professional orchestras and honor bands around the country.
    He explained to the students how he came up with the composition as well as the difficulties in naming it.
    “The intro is an important part. It’s the first thing everyone hears. It’s setting the stage,” O’Loughlin said.
    The students had the chance to hear the composer’s thoughts, not just the conductor’s, or teacher’s thoughts on how the piece is supposed to sound, Fund said.
    “It’s a great experience for the students to collaborate with a real live composer,” Fund said.
    Normally students would play pieces written hundreds of years ago, and the composer isn’t here to say how he or she envisioned it be played, Fund said.
    Eighth grader and cello player Jillian Dudin said she learned a lot from the session, especially about dynamics.
    “I thought it was pretty cool. It’s like no one else would get a chance to do this,” she said. “I’m just really glad that we had the opportunity to do this.”
      • calendar