OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The student from Franklin Elementary School won a composition competition for young composers organized by the Omaha Symphony.
Kendra Jurek’s fourth grade piece “Thanks to You” will be premiered by the symphony this spring during its Link Up virtual concert for elementary school students. The symphony will record a video of the performance and send links to metropolitan elementary schools in Council Bluffs-Omaha, according to Liz Kendall Weissner, director of education and community engagement for the symphony.
Kendra’s lineup was chosen from over 200 entries, Weissner told Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil.
“Kendra wrote a great song,” she said. “We had good submissions.”
The competition is open to all levels, but fourth and fifth graders make up the majority of participating composers, Weissner said. It typically attracts over 300 entries.
The winning lineup was selected in three phases, she said. First, she went through the submissions to make sure they were readable by recorders and xylophones, which many schools use in elementary music classes. Then a group of musicians played them and chose a few finalists. Finally, they passed them on to the conductor – for this concert, Ernest Richardson – who chose the winner.
The piece was arranged for orchestra by John David Beasley, who added an introduction and interlude based on Kendra’s tune, Weissner said. The central part of the arrangement features a section with just its melody played by recorders and a xylophone, which is repeated at the end. Schools are encouraged to have students play with these sections when showing the video.
“We look forward to playing with them in person again, when it’s safe to do so,” she said.
Before the concert link is sent, a symphony musician will take a virtual tour of participating schools to talk about music and a particular musical instrument, Weissner said.
Most people probably don’t know that Kendra is an aspiring songwriter, but it’s no secret that she’s a music lover, according to Heidi Kirsch, her music teacher at Franklin.
“Kendra really enjoys music – both performing and writing,” she says. “She’s both in Franklin’s Choir and Guitar Clubs (after school).”
Last year, the choir sang the star-spangled banner during an Omaha Lancers hockey game, according to Kendra’s mother Tammy Jurek.
Kirsch assigned students from the music class to write a composition, and Kendra entered hers into the competition.
“I have noticed that Kendra is very determined and deliberate in her writing,” the professor said. “His song, ‘Thanks to You’, has a very smooth, sweet, sweet and lyrical melody.”
The simple melody features five different notes per competition guidelines, which asked students to limit heights to G, A, B, C, and D “so that more students can successfully participate in this premiere,” according to the site. Web of the symphony. Single bar rhythm patterns were also provided, but Kendra chose her own beats. It took him three or four days to write the 12 bar work, Kirsch said.
Kendra, 9, also writes music outside of class and wrote lyrics during summer vacation, she said. The student listens to music at home and likes Ariana Grande and Gavin Magnus (a boy who posts his music videos on YouTube). She enjoys singing along with the Alicia Keys recording of “This Girl Is on Fire”, some of the songs by Justin Bieber and “A Million Dreams”, from the 2017 movie, “The Greatest Showman” (probably the recording of Pink ).
Kendra used to sing with her late father and enjoys singing at church, where her grandfather sings and plays guitar for worship services, although the church is not currently operating, her mother said. . She also enjoys singing with her 7-year-old sister Lillian and with the family’s karaoke machine.
“When it’s summer, they take their music outside,” Tammy Jurek said.