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VPR Classical Revives its Student Composer Showcase with Grace Carlomagno's "Traffic Lights"

Student Composer Grace Carlomagno watches a rehearsal of her piece, "Traffic Lights," written when she was a sophomore at Montpelier High School
Student Composer Grace Carlomagno watches a rehearsal of her piece, "Traffic Lights," written when she was a sophomore at Montpelier High School

VPR Classical is reviving its Student Composer Showcase, presented in collaboration with Music-COMP and Lake Champlain Access Television. Each month we’ll highlight student composers from around the state, bringing you performances of their original compositions.

The Music Composition Mentoring Program (Music-COMP) is a Vermont non-profit started in 1995 that teaches students in grades 3-12 how to compose original music. Students are paired with professional composers as mentors, and over 50 works are premiered each year with professional musicians.

This month, we feature a work written in 2017 by then-sophomore at Montpelier High School, Grace Carlomagno. Here she speaks about why she writes music, and introduces her piece titled, “Traffic Lights.”

Letitia Quante & Jane Kittredge, violins
Elizabeth Reid, viola
Michael Close, cello

Opus 32 presented by Music-COMP
May 15, 2017
Elley Long Music Center at St. Michael's College

Next week Music-COMP will present its first showcase in two years, Opus 36, with a performance featuring 25 young composers from around the state. Tuesday, April 26 at 6:30pm at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Burlington. The concert is free and open to the public. Learn more at

Production support for the Student Composer Showcase is provided by Lake Champlain Access Television, a community media center serving eight towns in Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle Counties, providing a free forum for expression, and a link to local government and training. More at

Helen Lyons serves as the Music Manager and host of Vermont Public Classical’s Monday-Saturday morning program. She grew up in Williston, Vermont, and holds a BA in Music from Wellesley College and Artist Diplomas from the Royal Academy of Music in London, and College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. She has enjoyed an international singing career spanning three continents, performing in Europe, China, The Philippines and the USA.