Here are some things that I won’t be talking about because you’ve heard it all before:
- I’ve loved music for as long as I can remember.
- I never really fit in with the crowd.
- At the age of 12, I was injured with a baseball bat.
Basic stuff. Anyways, I was born in The Woodlands, Texas in 1994. I started playing the violin at the age of four, and played in both my elementary and middle school orchestras. In seventh grade, my dad bought me a guitar and I started to learn to play that as well. When I was in eighth grade, I applied to two magnet high schools: the Academy of Science and Technology in the Woodlands and the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. I almost got accepted to the Academy of Science and Technology, but I (for lack of a better term) bombed the interview. In retrospect, this was actually wonderful, because it gave me the drive and determination to not screw up my violin audition for HSPVA. I got a callback, and after what seemed like weeks (most likely because it was weeks), I received an acceptance letter in the mail.
From the moment I entered the ninth grade at HSPVA, it was impossible for me to even consider going to any other high school. The whole school was focused on bettering and improving knowledge, abilities, and talent centered on the arts. Collaboration between students was heavily promoted and I was able to grow academically, socially and emotionally as I worked with other students in senior recitals and exhibitions, chamber music, and ensemble performances in other art areas. I was able to make friends with people in all areas of the fine arts, and was able to gain artistic perspective from the view of actors, dancers, visual artists, and writers.
During my freshman year, I was introduced to music composition through the school’s composition club. Composing quickly became my favorite activity, but I didn’t realize that I wanted it to be my career until I saw the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Seeing the perfect marriage of music to film made me realize that I wanted to become a film composer. In the summer of my junior year, I attended the conservatory program at the American Festival for the Arts, where I learned invaluable information about all aspects of the world of composition: counterpoint, advanced music theory, the history of 20th century music, communication with performers and institutions, and countless other subjects. There, I studied under many successful local composers and got a piece performed by professional musicians.
Needless to say, I attended the program again this year. Aside from getting new perspectives from different composers, I also had the unique opportunity to collaborate on a work with a member of the Ben Stevenson Academy at the Houston Ballet. After sending each other possible ideas, we had roughly two weeks to generate a finished work to be recorded the following week and premiered the next. The experience was truly amazing, not only to be able to get a different perspective on my work, but also to open my eyes to the possibility of joining different art areas to create works that were greater than the sum of the parts.
One thing that I find interesting about myself is that I am quite good at composing endings to music but dreadful at writing endings to blog posts.