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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My son, the composer

Our local newspaper posted an article on my son today.  It's about his love of music and how he ended up on a path to becoming a composer. He's been studying under one of the great composers of our time, Libby Larson.  This spring, he won the prestigious ASCAP Young Composer's award.  He's had a number of pieces played and performed, and he even had his first commission.  I used to worry that a career in music would be a tough road but I've seen enough that I don't worry any more.  That in spite of the fact that I'm a worrier by nature!  Enough of me talking about him; here is his story.

In August, he's off to Indiana University where he'll major in composing with an oboe concentration at the Jacob's School of Music. We'll miss him dearly but he's so ready to move.  I can't wait to see what the future brings. Oh, and speaking of the future, he's helped me put together a list of classical music to game by so you've got that to look forward to!

34 comments:

  1. Congrat's those are some very impressive accomplishments - you are right to be very proud of him. My son's off to college next year also - he's going to Carnegie-Mellon to study robotics.

    I don't know about you but I'll be a wreck as an empty nester!

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    1. Thanks! Robotics? Now that is a golden ticket! I have a daughter who'll be home for a year after my son and then she's off to college as well. I try to remind myself that my wife and I once had a life with just the two of us. So yea, it'll be a BIG changeup.

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  2. Very complimentary write up of your son's accomplishments. Congratulations to him and to you and your family.

    Well done!

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    1. They did a wonderful write-up, and it was so cool that they spoke to his teachers as well. Thanks Jonathan!

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  3. What a proud Dad! Well done your son, too!

    My oldest is in year 9 and just getting to realise what a big deal her studies are; they actually have a bearing on her future! She's actually beginning to think of the future and of what she wants to do after school which scares me silly because she's still my little girl!

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    1. Rosbif, you bring up a very good point. Kids today are so focused. I sure wasn't thinking of my future when I was 9, so wow!

      When I was at his last High School concert, they started reading off all the colleges the kids were off to and what they were studying. Lots of engineering majors, lots of business majors. I leaned over to my wife and said "No English majors? What's up with that?" A very serious and focused bunch, these young people!

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    2. Sorry Monty; I think something got lost in the translation! She's in ninth grade which equates to Middle School in your part of the world.

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    3. My fault! We call it 9th grade so I read year 9 as 9 years old, lol. That is still an early age to be planning your future! I was in my senior year of college and I still wasn't sure what I wanted to be. THAT'S what we want our children to avoid...the mistakes of their parents.

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  4. Congratulations on your prodigy! I can imagine how proud you must be. All the more impressive when much of the youth today (including my 15 yr old) spend much of their time on Xbox and other dubious pursuits. Best, Dean

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    1. Dean, thanks for your kind words. When my son and daughter were young, we pushed soccer and basketball but those died out. You never know when or where your child will find their passion. When they do, all you can do is stand back and marvel. And then get back to the painting table because your paintbrush is calling. ;-)

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  5. Nice to be a dad, huh? Sounds like you've got a terrific kid, there, Monty.

    FMB

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    1. LOL, yes. There are and will be those days. But this is a good one!

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  6. Fantastic - that is some talent that is sure to leave a mark in this world. You must be very proud!

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    1. Thanks Jonathan! I can't wait to see where it goes next. The stuff he's written could be slipped onto NPR Classical and I swear, you wouldn't be able to pick it out.

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  7. Congrats Monty, you must be proud...This is a family of artists!
    All the best,
    Phil.

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    1. Thanks Phil and you are too kind. I do use what I do, small as it is, to talk about what he does. We even had a discussion about commissions, music and painting. I told him that if the person who asks for a commission is back seat driving every detail and telling you exactly how to do your art, that's a recipe for failure. Like I'm a big expert on commissions. ;-)

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  8. Good luck to him Monty, and best wishes to you as you come to terms with your house being a little bit emptier.

    Cheers,
    Aaron

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    1. Thanks Aaron. A saving grace is the University streams the art performances digitally. We won't be there in person due to the 12 drive (one way) but we'll be able to listen!

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  9. Great news Monty you should be very proud to have raised such a talent

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    1. Andrew! Thanks, and I admit that I am. Really, I'm not normally one of those Peacock Parents!

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  10. Congrats Monty. You and Jackie did a great job in raising, supporting, and helping him to find his passion. Now look at him- there is no stopping him. I am so happy for you two.

    FYI- next year your vehicle gas bill should go down when you don't have to drive Grant to all his functions. LOL

    Love you!

    Sis

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    1. Thanks sis! What will we do with all of our free time (and money) once he's off? I told Kelsey we need to get back to hiking, sightseeing and the things we did before life became so very busy.

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  11. Monty, what a great story. You must be very proud...and quite rightly so! I loved the comment from Centennial High Band Director Becky Weiland: “I’ve been here 22 years, and Grant is our first real composer.” That's a lovely thing to say - real excitement there, on the page. Congratulations to you, Grant, and all of your family, Monty!!

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    1. Sidney! My son has been blessed to have so many great teachers and supporters in his composing and playing. What is happening now is a sum total of the contributions of ALL of those people, like Mrs. Weiland. And all of Grant's hard work too. It is a damn shame that our poor financial climate in the US means the arts keep getting cut. The opportunities Grant had won't be available in the future and that will be a very sad day.

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  12. Very impressive accomplishments! I'm sure your bursting with pride and you should be. It's great to have a passion and actually be able to do it. Good luck to your son and enjoy the music list he put together while he is away.

    Christopher

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    1. Christopher! It is crazy how passionate he is about creating music. Every day he composes. Thanks sir!

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  13. Congrats to Grant and the proud Dad!

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    1. Thanks Fran, and we should put together a Victorian Sci-Fi songlist. ;-)

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  14. Congratulations to you both! What a great story.

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    1. Thanks Jonas. I appreciate your comments!

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  15. Monty, really glad everything is going so well! I have to say that when you first posted about him on your blog, I went and listened to his pieces.
    I was a bit anxious. For some reason the only classical pieces I like are by Bach and with such a narrow scope I was afraid I would not like what I woulld hear. But much to the opposite, his work was quiet refreshing! So I am positive he will achieve real greatness!

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    1. Burkhard! That is very kind to say. I feel very good about his chances because he can write a wide variety of material. Through him, I've developed a love for classical music that I didn't have before he came along. Ok, now I'm rambling! Thanks!

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  16. Congratulations to your son, you must be very proud of him! Oddly enough, my oldest nephew just graduated from Jacobs School of Music at Indiana U...small world. His brother is up your way at St. Olaf on a music scholarship, but he's going premed I think.

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    1. Thanks Iowa and it is a small world! There must be much musical talent in your family. Music scholarships are pretty hard to come by with these days.

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