Loiederman Middle School recently had the exciting opportunity to work with international composer Jim Papoulis to create their own original melodies! Having a commissioned piece of choral music is an honor for any school but is especially important to Loiederman’s students who were able to integrate their own musical ideas in the piece with Papoulis’ help. The song commemorates Loiderman’s Chamber Choir’s performance at the American Choral Director’s Association’s national middle school conference this year.
Papoulis led the students through an interactive workshop where he introduced them to the world of musical composition. With discussions about lyrics, theme, and musical influences, Papoulis led students into this area in a relatable and fun manner. Papoulis says that “he’s always interested in what the kids like to listen to” and actively included their suggestions in the piece. This fun workshop ended with a performance by the students accompanied by Papoulis on piano.
As a musician, I am forever grateful to my teachers and the musical experiences that they provided me with that placed me on the path to discover one of my passions. Without crucial experiences like this workshop that broaden students’ perspective on the arts, I would never have discovered my love of music. I distinctly remember the chorus class at College Gardens ES that first introduced me to choral music, and even though it may seem like these experiences were commonplace, they were very significant to my development as musician. As a member of the Montgomery County Youth Chorus and the All-State chorus today, I can safely say that experiences like Papoulis’ workshop can impact young students to pursue a fulfilling pastime.
That’s why Papoulis’ visit is so much more than just a composition workshop: he’s brought a new level of musical involvement to the MCPS community and its students. Maybe this workshop will be an impactful inspiration for a burgeoning future musician!
Article by Sharika Dhar, SAC Press Correspondent