FOUNTAIN CITY MUSIC COMPETITION
The 3rd Annual Fountain City Music Competition wrapped up April 22nd with a world premiere virtual performance of De Soto High School Senior Caleb Smith's piece entitled Inspirations.
This is a music composition contest organized by Director of Bands, Darrell Boyer, that allows De Soto music students to practice their compositional skills and receive feedback from a national panel of professional composers. The panel of judges listen to student submissions and then rank each submission after providing feedback. The winner of this competition works with Mr. Boyer, to edit, refine, and arrange their composition to fit the De Soto High School Symphonic Band. Throughout the Spring semester the Symphonic Band will read through the piece and assist making recommendations to the student composer. The revision process continues and the piece is finally printed and distributed to the band for the "World Premiere" performance at the DHS Spring Band Concert.
"This year, due to the current situation, things have not gone as they have in the past. Caleb had learned that his piece was selected as the winning composition in the middle of February and we had just got ready for the first round of reading. Unfortunately, Caleb was unable to hear his piece performed before school let out."
Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, all spring band events were cancelled.
"Our students, like many around the country have missed out on so many special moments that come with the spring semester in high school. From performing with guest artists to taking our spring band trip, I felt like our students had missed too much."
That's when Mr. Boyer decided to take action. He reached out on social media to solicit help and organized over 50 musicians from around the country to record parts of the winning composition. After receiving audio and video recordings from the musicians he then mixed the audio and created a "Virtual Band" so that Caleb would be able to hear his piece. "Inspirations" by C. Smith, which has been uploaded to YouTube, had its world premiere April 22nd at 7pm.
"While nothing compares with making music together in person, this provided a shared experience for our community to gather and listen to Caleb's piece. We had a watch party on YouTube and invited friends, family, and our community take part."
Caleb will be attending Southwest Baptist University to study music. Past winners of the Fountain City Composition Contest include Gavin Luther (2018) and Kylie Mitchell (2019).