Tampa Prep’s Lev LeClair ’24 recently won the “Student Composer Competition” from the Florida Vocal Association for the second year in a row!
Last year, Lev’s piece “Hymn to the Night” was selected to be sung and was premiered by the All-State Sight Reading Chorus in concert.
This year, his new original piece, “Ballad” was chosen out of all the submissions in the entire state of Florida to be performed at the Florida All-State Reading Chorus. All submitted pieces were adjudicated by several college professors and choral composers in the field.
TP: “What does this honor mean to you?”
LL: “This honor means a lot to me for two main reasons. The first is that I can see the improvement from my previous piece and I am proud of that. The second reason is that I worked extremely hard on this piece and I wrote it faster than any other of my compositions. I also believe it is my best one. I really appreciate recognition of the amount of effort and soul that I put into writing “Ballad.” For one week, the piece took over my life. This honor is almost like a confirmation that the work paid off.”
TP: “When did you start working on your original piece “Ballad”?
LL: “I started working on “Ballad” about a week and a half before the deadline. This was so late because I wanted/needed to change the poem that I was using because I just could not figure out a melody to do the first poem justice and make the poem come to life. Once I found the poem “Ballad” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, I found that I could make this poem come to life easier.”
TP: “Where do you find inspiration?”
LL: “When I am writing for choir, I find inspiration from mostly the poem. When writing for choir, I try to bring the poem to life using the music. When I am writing music for instruments, I try to write what I feel and I try to draw inspiration from that. Everything else, the melodies, harmonies, etc, they come from what I am feeling or what I want the listener to feel, either elation, energy, or a bittersweet sadness.”
TP: “What do your future plans involve?”
LL: “My future plans, as it pertains to music, involve continuing to improve at the art of composing music. That is the only thing I know for sure. It is possible that I will study music in college along with preparing for medicine, or I will just make it a self-study thing with a private tutor. Either way, my plans are to keep music in my life and more specifically continue to improve at composition.”
The All-State Sight Reading Chorus concert will be at 8:45 AM on Saturday, January 13th in the Tampa Convention Center Ballroom. (Tickets are available for purchase at the convention center on that day if you are interested in seeing his incredible work premiered.)
Congrats Lev for living the “CREATE” vision of Tampa Prep!