Ellie began playing piano at age six and percussion at age nine. She had always made up melodies in her head as a kid, but it wasn't until high school that she started writing them down. She explains her path to becoming a composer as being influenced by family, friends, and supportive teachers.
"Each year in my high school band we would be assigned into quartets and trios for small ensemble projects. It was around this time that my sister showed me the online composing program "flat", and I began writing my own marimba and mallet quartets. I found the structure of four single lined voices easy to work with.
Eventually I started bringing in my own music to school for my friends to play for our small ensemble projects. My music was largely influenced by the three other girls I played with in my mallet quartet, because I would write each part to their skill levels and musical interests.
My high school band teacher was extremely encouraging and supportive of me and allowed me to perform one of my marimba quartets at our school's annual winter recital at the Basilica St. Mary, by far our largest concert of the year."
Ellie is the youth winner of Zeitgeist's 2021 Eric Stokes Song Contest. Named in memory of late composer Eric Stokes, the contest is designed to encourage and celebrate amateur composers throughout the Twin Cities. Ellie's winning composition, Beach Quartet, will be featured on Zeitgeist's annual Playing it Close to Home concert, Sept. 10-11 at Studio Z.
Ellie writes about Beach Quartet:
"I wrote Beach Quartet almost three years ago in one four hour sitting. I had no idea what to call the piece so it was titled "yeah" for a while. I brought it into school with the hopes of playing it with my mallet quartet that I mentioned earlier, but we never got around to it. It wasn't until this past year when I was putting together samples for my music school application that I happened upon the piece again and began reworking it."
Playing it Close to Home
Studio Z: 275 East Fourth Street, Suite 200, St. Paul
$15 / $10 students & seniors
With winning songs from the 2021 Eric Stokes Song Contest plus music by local composer Michelle Kinney, Zeitgeist’s Playing it Close to Home concert celebrates the wealth of musical creativity found right here in our own backyard. The program includes music by Eric Stokes Song Contest winners Ilan Blanck, Julie Sweet, and Ellie Gold, plus the world premiere of new music composed for Zeitgeist by Michelle Kinney.
*Seating is limited to allow for social distancing. Masks will be required and attendees must provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result from the previous 72 hours.*