Seeing the surprising number of high-school-aged composers in the area, composer Austin Kraft decided they should collaborate, and so founded this student-run composer ensemble. (And he somehow managed to do this while swamped with the average high-school-student workload.) Austin says, “My driving idea behind the creation of the Lab is that someone who has written a composition has the right to hear real people perform it. As a composer who has had great opportunities to hear my music performed and to receive insightful feedback from other composers, I felt indebted to the local creative community. NextNotes Lab provides a non-competitive space for all young composers to experiment and to take ownership of their art.”
A typical meeting for NextNotes Lab takes place at a member’s house. Makeshift music stands (i.e. decorative plate holders) are often devised. During the meetings, composers present revised drafts of compositions and receive feedback on notation and style. Ted Moore, a Twin Cities composer, offers great on-call mentorship at numerous Lab meetings. Beyond performing and discussing their compositions, they use the meeting times to figure out future logistics. The Lab prides itself on being largely self-sustaining: all composers and performers are teenagers.
The NextNotes Lab composers are excited to present their inaugural concert featuring pieces by Nicholas Christenson, Seamus Hubbard Flynn, Austin Kraft and Maxwell Rader. They’ll also be joined by peer high school musicians Duncan Henry and Madeline Pape. Pieces on the program feature combinations of the following instrumentation: flute, bassoon, saxophone, horn, violin, percussion, harp, piano, and electronics. Please join them!
For more information on the NextNotes Lab, visit www.composersforum.org/program/nextnotes-lab, and for complete information about NextNotes High School Composition Awards, visit www.nextnotes.org.