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Student Composer Showcase - Chase Ehrlich

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Chase Ehrlich
used with permission
11th grade Montpelier High School student, Chase Ehrlich is the featured composer of this month's student composer showcase. Chase's piece "Cloud Dance" was performed at Music-COMP's Opus 36 concert back in April of 2022.

CHASE: Creating something that people can enjoy is what I find really fun, and writing music and improvising is just something I've always enjoyed.

JAMES: That’s the voice of 11th Grade Montpelier High School student Chase Ehrlich, our featured composer for this month’s student composer showcase. In a moment we’ll hear Chase’s work “Cloud Dance” performed and recorded at Music-COMP’s Opus 36 concert back in April of 2022. Music-COMP is an online composition mentoring program that pairs students with professional composers who mentor them as they create an original musical work. Chase had many wonderful things to share about their composing mentor.

CHASE: He was very supportive, especially when I was out of ideas and running into some like rougher ground. He was able to help me get back out of that and finish the piece in time. He kind of made me think more about the structure of the piece, how ideas flow into each other than I probably would have otherwise. He had some recommendations on how to end it that I wouldn't have come up with, and his feedback on that kind of subject was really, really useful in my piece.

JAMES: Tell us about your piece “Cloud Dance.”

CHASE: I have written for piano and violin, viola, and cello. My piece was probably inspired by movie soundtracks I think is my best approximation of what I was kind of like thinking I was writing this. It's really pretty different from the other music I listen to; I think that's the closest you can get to an inspiration source. It was really cool seeing it performed live. It sounds so much more natural than when it's performed on the computer. It's so much more alive.

JAMES: So, let’s go back to April of 2022 and hear Chase’s introduction of this performance.

CHASE: Hi, my name is Chase Ehrlich, and my piece is called “Cloud Dance.” Writing it, I kind of was trying to go for a free kind of light sound which reminded me of the way clouds move across the sky on a summer's day. So, I hope you enjoy.


JAMES: That was “Cloud Dance” by 11th Grade Montpelier High School student Chase Ehrlich. We heard violinist, Jane Kitteridge; violist, Anna Ruesink; cellist, Michael Close and pianist Alison Cerutti, recorded at Music-COMP’s Opus 36 concert that took place in April of 2022 at The Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Burlington, Vermont. You’ll have a chance to hear more music by Chase. Their work “Spirit of the Sky” will be performed by the Vermont Philharmonic under the direction of Lou Kosma for the program “Awakenings” featuring music by young composers. That concert is Sunday, March 19th at 2pm at the Barre Opera House. You can find more details at vermontphilharmonic.com.

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.

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 lcatv.org

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James Stewart is Vermont Public Classical's afternoon host. As a composer, he is interested in many different genres of music; writing for rock bands, symphony orchestras and everything in between.