Student compositions showcased in concert

Sophomore Chantalle Falconer performs Chantelle Chamberlain’s “Gypsy Dance” at the “Composers of Olivet”concert Feb. 27. Photo by Morgan McCririe.

By Morgan McCririe

Music filled Kresge Auditorium Feb. 27 as the time, effort and inspiration of seven students culminated in the “Composers of Olivet” concert.

The concert was a chance for music composition students to showcase the work they have been doing this year, and also an opportunity to record the compositions for their portfolios.

The works of student composers Ben Cherney, Zachary Kohlmeier, Seth Lowery, Kyrstin Stephens, RaeMarie Donaldson, Chantelle Chamberlain and Josh Ring were performed during the concert.

The students are encouraged to try new and different things in their private lessons with Dr. Karen Ball, as the audience experienced a diverse selection of compositions at the concert.

Although the students take private lessons, they do most of their composing outside of class, according to sophomore Chantelle Chamberlain.

Senior RaeMarie Donaldson described her process as “progressive” and said that although many people think songwriters just sit down and write, that is not the case.

When composing, Donaldson said she likes to try things out on the piano and “let [her] fingers decide.” She writes down short pieces in a notebook and often returns to them and uses them to shape larger pieces.

Similarly, Chamberlain usually begins with “a melodic idea or concept.”

Chamberlain also derives inspiration for her compositions from a variety of sources. One composition, “The Air,” stemmed from a quote, while her boyfriend inspired another song, “The Smile.”

Donaldson said she tries to stay away from “typical, poppy” music and adds something surprising or unexpected to her compositions.

Both Chamberlain and Donaldson plan to continue composing outside of class.

Chamberlain has begun some independent projects. She is currently writing a musical, and she also does a lot of songwriting on her own.

The “Composers of Olivet” concert offers these students an opportunity to share their talent and hard work with fellow students. Chamberlain said the concert was when she “first felt like a real composer.”

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