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Nationally renowned composer to use students’ work to create musical composition

What do you get when you mix a batch of Eagle Hill students’ creative works of art, short musical scores and poems and essays with the talents of a nationally renowned composer and local conductor?

Well, you get a recipe for a student-inspired musical composition written specifically for Eagle Hill Middle School’s Grade 7/8 Band.

Nationally renowned composer Sean O’Loughlin, who is the principal pops conductor for Syracuse’s Symphoria and has worked with such musicians as Adele, Josh Groban, Kelly Clarkson, Itzhak Perlman and the Blue Man Group, is using creative projects from 24 Eagle Hill students to create a custom musical composition that will capture the school’s character education theme “Beauty and Excellence.”

F-M music teacher Terri Tallman, with funding support through the F-M Education Foundation and the Eagle Hill Home and School Association, began this collaborative venture titled the Beauty & Excellence Project to involve Eagle Hill students in a creative process so they could develop a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation for the arts.

Mrs. Tallman said that every Eagle Hill student was given the opportunity to design and submit a work of art, a written poem or essay, or a short musical score that celebrates and reflects the school’s beauty and excellence. The submissions were reviewed by a panel of judges who selected two pieces from each grade level for each category (art, writing, music) to present to Mr. O’Loughlin during his visit to the school.

The students with winning selections received an award and got to meet Mr. O’Loughlin. They will also be recognized in the concert program when the personalized musical composition performed by the school’s Grade 7/8 Band is premiered for the community in June.

In addition to students learning about the creative process of composing, they also learned more about the careers of musicians and composers, got a snapshot of what is involved in writing music for a movie, and even learned new ways to continue to develop their own music writing skills, Mrs. Tallman said.

“The musical composition is an incredible opportunity for students to contribute in a meaningful and memorable way to a project that will serve as a lasting source of pride for Eagle Hill,” Mrs. Tallman said.

Music composition top entry for grade 5: Michaela Scalzetti
Music composition top entry for grade 6: Kaylee Yang and Olivia Barnhart
Music composition top entry for grade 7: Sara Kronenberg and Ashley Schneider
Music composition top entry for grade 8: William Forbes and Milo Sinclair
Overall Winner: Milo Sinclair

Essay top entry for grade 6: Andrew Nocilly and Somya Chakraborty
Essay top entry for grade 7: Allison Wong
Overall Winner: Somya Chakraborty

Art project top entry for grade 5: Carlye Bryant and Abby Muscatello
Art project top entry for grade 6: Jackson Burton and Nithya Gangireddy
Art project top entry for grade 7: Olivia Kimbrough and Claire Lee
Art project top entry for grade 8: Ethan Teluk and PeiLin Lu
Overall Winner: PeiLin Lu