The Young Composers Project (YCP) is an established cornerstone of MIM’s education program.  The innovative curriculum serves to instill passion for all music in the region’s youth. Students study composition, notation software, conducting, melodic and rhythmic dictation, theory, music history, solfege, rehearsal/performance, writing a resume, 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. YCP 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 composer/teacher, Mark Vance. The program consists of two divisions, Intermediate and Advanced.

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 expressive and powerful new music was premiered in two concerts June 14 and 16, 7:00 pm at Peace Lutheran Church.

The 2016-17 application will be posted summer of 2016.


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

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