Cameron Johnson and John Richardson are among five students from the state who have been honored; they were recognized for their original compositions “After the Dust Has Settled” and “Cyber Megatropolis”, respectively.
University of Alabama at Birminghamstudents Cameron Johnson and John Richardson were honored by the Alabama Music Educators Association’s Young Composers Competition.
Students from the Music Department of the College of Arts and Sciences were among five from the state selected as finalists in the competition.
Johnson, from Hoover, Alabama, is a sophomore studying instrumental music education and is a member of the UAB Honors College Global and Community Leadership Honors Program. He submitted his first complete work for concert band, entitled “After the Dust Has Settled”, inspired by the question “What will remain after?” A member of the UAB Trumpet Studio led by Associate Professor of Trumpet James Zingara, DMA, he also credits Cara Morantz, Ed.D., who was “a massive inspiration for why I decided to study music education here at UAB and helped me review the piece before submitting it in October.
Johnson’s audio score can be heard in line. This is a MIDI realization of the piece, created using the Sibelius composition program and the NotePerformer sound engine. MIDI, an acronym that stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface, is a way to connect devices that produce and control sound, such as synthesizers, samplers, and computers, so they can communicate with each other.
Richardson, from Huntsville, Alabama, studies music education at UAB and is part of the UAB Wind Symphony and UAB Clarinet Studio. Its composition is called “Cyber Megatropolis.” He credits Sean Murray, Ph.D., director of bands at UAB, and Denise Gainey, DMA, clarinet teacher, for helping him develop his skills as a composer. While in high school at Randolph Upper School, he was trained by two “incredible” group directors: Sue Samuels, Ph.D., former director of groups at UAB, now at Furman University, and group director Randolph Erin Charles.
“Both helped enormously in developing my musical talent as a composer,” Richardson said. “I actually originally wrote the piece that I submitted to the AMEA Young Composers competition for the band Randolph to perform this spring. I heard about the competition from Cameron and decided to finish the piece early. to participate.
A graduate of Hoover High School, Johnson was a member of the Hoover Band. Growing up in the church and being exposed to gospel music at a very young age sparked his fascination and passion for jazz and classical music. Now, several years later, he says he’s “fully fallen in love” with writing music.
The students were recognized on Friday, January 21 at the AMEA Awards Ceremony at the BJCC Theatre.
The AMEA Young Composers Competition was created to encourage developing student composers in Alabama by providing professional-level examination and consideration. By recognizing outstanding student compositions, this process will support Alabama music teachers in recognizing their efforts to incorporate the standards of the National Association for Music Education. It is also hoped that this kind of professional recognition will provide a showcase for the songwriting talents of these young Alabama musicians, according to the AMEA website.