The Young Composers Project (YCP) is an established cornerstone of MIM’s education program.  The innovative curriculum serves to instill passion for classical music in the region’s youth, where they learn about composition, theory, music history, performance, and public speaking.  Students receive weekly one-on-one instruction and bi-monthly group lessons from September through June.  Students present a mid-year recital of their original compositions for voice and one instrument of choice in January, at the New Songs for Midwinter concert. The program culminates with the Young Composers Concerts, where student works are premiered by professional musicians as part of MIM’s summer festival.

This award-winning program kicks off early in the school year with youth from 6th grade through early college. The program consists of both Saturday classes and private lessons throughout the school year with composers/teachers Mark Vance and Jerry Grant. The program consists of two divisions, Beginner/Intermediate and Intermediate/Advanced.

During the ’14-’15 YCP year, Music in the Mountains’ Young Composers Project was able to visit Animal Place, a sanctuary for farmed animals in Grass Valley. Students learned about the factory farm animal industry and how animals raised in these factory farms are some of the most exploited and least protected group of animals. Students also saw the pastoral beauty at Animal Place and compassion there for all living creatures. Students used their thoughts and experiences to write music. This expressive and powerful new music will be premiered in two concerts June 16 and 17, 7:30 pm at Peace Lutheran Church by the the bay area’s Left Coast Ensemble as well as some of Nevada County’s finest musicians.


This education program is funded in part by the League of American Orchestras and The Volgenau Foundation.

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