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Young Composers to Premiere New Works at The BOP STOP

Posted April 19, 2016 in Press Releases

OBERLIN, OH––The Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra will premiere student compositions from its Young Composer Program and showcase chamber music ensembles on Sunday, May 15, at 3:00 p.m. at the Bop Stop at The Music Settlement in Cleveland.

An exciting new addition to NOYO’s season, the Young Composers Program provides students with year-long composition instruction at Oberlin Conservatory under the guidance of Assistant Professor of Composition, Aaron Helgeson with support from Oberlin Conservatory student composers, Torrin Hallett and Justin Weiss. Over the course of the year, students learned the fundamentals of music composition—including counterpoint, notation, and instrumentation— while writing works to be premiered by Oberlin Conservatory musicians. Executive & Artistic Director Michael Roest says, “Few secondary schools can offer composition as part of their core curriculum, and so students rarely receive formal composition instruction at a young age. Through this partnership, we are excited to give our students precisely this opportunity.” On Sunday, student compositions will be brought to life by conservatory trained musicians, an extraordinary opportunity for any young composer.

The concert will also feature performances by NOYO chamber music ensembles. Meeting two hours per week from April to May, students in NOYO’s Chamber Music Extension studied the art of playing in small ensembles under the guidance of Oberlin Conservatory Students. David Coy, Philharmonia Bassoonist and Junior at Mentor High School, shares “I have participated in chamber groups for solo and ensemble before but never one with high quality instruction and musicians who will also hold themselves to a truly high standard; I've found it to be an invigorating experience”.

About our Composer in Residence
Torrin Hallett - Composer, horn player, and mathematician - currently studies at Oberlin College and Conservatory. Mr. Hallett began his career in composition at age fourteen, publishing his first work at the early age of sixteen. Since then, he has continued to compose for wind ensembles, orchestras, and chamber music groups. Most recently, his music was used in the documentary “Consider the Conversation 2: Stories about Cure, Relief, and Comfort.” His works have been performed by the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, where he was also a member of the horn section.

Justin Weiss
Justin Weiss is currently a junior at Oberlin Conservatory of Music pursuing a degree in Music Composition with a minor in Music Theory. As a composer, he has received awards and recognitions from YoungArts, ASCAP, Encore Wind Ensemble, and Tribeca New Music. Additionally, Justin’s piece, Drifting Impressions, was performed by the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble in April 2016. As a conductor, he has premiered a number of student composers’ works at Oberlin. Most recently he conducted the score for the upcoming TV Pilot Truth Slash Fiction. He was also the Assistant Conductor for Oberlin's Contemporary Music Ensemble and Oberlin Opera Theatre's production of The Rape of Lucretia. Justin has studied composition with Aaron Helgeson and Lewis Nielson and conducting with Raphael Jiménez and Gregory Ristow.

Aaron Helgeson
Aaron Helgeson is an internationally recognized composer for the stage and concert hall, bringing a cutting-edge sensibility to acoustic instrumental and vocal music. His work—described by critics as "timeless" and “nothing short of mesmerizing”—explores the poetic boundaries of musical perception, drawing on the diverse fields of phenomenology, acoustics, literature, and cognitive science to create surreal and evocative sonic universes. Helgeson began writing music at the age of 14, initially studying at the American Music Institute and Interlochen Center for the Arts. He holds bachelor’s degrees in composition and theater from Oberlin College and Conservatory, and a PhD from UC San Diego where he studied with Chaya Czernowin and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Roger Reynolds.

About NOYO
Founded in 1969, the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra is a regional orchestral training program for young musicians ages 8 to 22. NOYO students receive weekly instruction from a distinguished staff of professional musicians and perform in world class facilities at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

Tickets and Information General admission tickets are sold at the door for $10. For more information, please visit, or call 440-775-3059.

The Bop Stop is located at 2920 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113.

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