The Young Composers Project (YCP) teaches talented young Nevada County musicians grades junior high through college to study music software notation, melodic and rhythmic dictation, music theory and harmony, music history, conducting, public speaking and composition.  It kicks off early in the school year with interested youth from 6th grade through 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.

Students present a mid-year recital of their original compositions for voice and one instrument of choice in February, at the New Songs for Midwinter concert. The program culminates in June with the Young Composers Concerts. Here student works are premiered by professional musicians as part of MIM’s SummerFest.

This year, YCP is exploring the intersection of art and science.  Prelude for Yuba Salmon is a collaborative adventure in musicianship, composing, and environmental stewardship. MIM’s Young Composers Project will team with educators at Sierra Streams Institute (SSI) and taken through a curriculum focused on the plight of the salmon and their importance to the environmental health of the region’s watershed.   The curriculum will include both lab and field work. Students will then create a piece of music that responds to the their experience.  The project will culminate in a composition to be premiered by the MIM Festival Orchestra during the 2014 summer festival. The experience, inspiration and process will be captured in a 20-minute documentary film, where the music created will also serve as score for the film.  For more information about the Prelude, click on the above video.

This year, YCP is exploring the intersection of art and science.  Find out more about this project and read student blogs:  Prelude for Yuba Salmon.


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

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