Spring 2019 Concert Collaboration: Live Music for the Movies

In collaboration with the Green Mountain Film Festival, the Montpelier Chamber Orchestra and Composer Erik Nielsen and students, performed new works scored for silent films.  Montpelier Chamber Orchestra, Music-COMP and Green Mountain Film Festival presented brand-new orchestral compositions as live soundtracks to the movies The Metropolis, La Glu, and Prince Achmed Acts IV and V.

Anne Decker Conducting Erik Nielsen’s Composition for Silent Film, March 2019, at VCFA Chapel, Montpelier.

Students engaged in the mentoring program, Music-COMP (Music Composition Mentoring Program), a non-profit organization supporting young composers in schools and organizations across Vermont. As each student created an original piece of music, they were paired with a professional composer as their mentor to receive guidance and support. Many former Music-COMP students have pursued careers as composers, musicians and educators in addition to winning regional and national awards for their work.

A scene from Metropolois, a 1927 German expressionist epic science-fiction drama film directed by Fritz Lang.

A scene from Metropolois, a 1927 German expressionist epic science-fiction drama film directed by Fritz Lang.

Drew Frankenberg is a 9th-grade student from West Rutland. He is writing a score to a portion of The Metropolis. Drew writes of himself: “My name is Drew Frankenberg. I am a freshman homeschool student who participates in the West Rutland music program. I started composing when I was in sixth grade. My first true composition was selected by the Music COMP to be performed live by professional musicians in the Opus 32. I play clarinet, piano, saxophone, guitar, ukulele and am learning flute. I am honored to be selected for this project, and am very thankful to all of my music teachers, especially to Erik Nielsen and Matt LaRocca for giving me this amazing opportunity. Other than music I enjoy soccer, skiing, rock climbing, biking, and karate.”

"La Glu” or The Glue, 1927, by Alice Guy Blache.

"La Glu” or The Glue, 1927, by Alice Guy Blache.

Anna Halladay is a high school senior from Burlington and she will be creating a score to La Glu. Anna Halladay writes of herself: “My name is Anna Halladay, and I am a senior at Burlington High School. I play cello in the Vermont Youth Orchestra, as well as bass guitar in my school's jazz band. During my free time, I enjoy swimming, softball, and hiking with my dog, Lucy. I have participated in the Music-COMP online mentoring program since 5th grade, and I'm excited to present my first film score!”

This project also served professional development for the orchestra, working with new compositions, living composers, and accompanying film.  Mr. Nielsen has composed for the silent film, Prince Achmed.

Laura Fried