Symphony opens melody contest to area youths

We’ve all had the experience of getting a song stuck in our heads. Students now have the chance to create one of their own.

Students in grades 1-12 can write their own songs or melodies for the Springfield Symphony Orchestra’s first melody contest, open through Nov. 13.

“We’re really excited and the kids are excited,” said Symphony director of operations and education Ashley Cain. “A lot of parents have already called in about it.”

The contest is in collaboration with Austin Jaquith, associate professor of music theory and composition at Cedarville University.

He introduced the contest earlier this year in conjunction with the Dayton Philharmonic, and Jaquith said the students found it enjoyable and rewarding.

“This emphasizes that anybody can write. It’s an accessible art form,” said Jaquith.

Jaquith said he doesn’t expect the compositions to be pro-caliber: “We’re looking for something simple that sounds good; nothing complex or outrageously inventive.”

He said the goal is once the kids see it happen they may develop a bigger interest in composing.

Jacquith said he is trying to develop composers’ workshops in the Springfield City Schools when the new school year begins to help students toward the goal.

The melodies will be submitted through YouTube.

Ten finalists’ melodies will be selected and performed at the Springfield Youth Symphony’s fall concert on Nov. 30 at Southgate Baptist Church.

One composition will be recognized with an audience choice award and two others will be selected, then the three will be performed at the Youth Symphony’s spring 2016 concert.

For more information and the downloadable application, go to or call 937-325-8100.

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