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Student Composer Showcase - Dylan Mauro

Dylan Mauro is a student at Harwood Union High School. This was Dylan's first year participating in Music-Comp's Opus concert.
Dylan Mauro
Dylan Mauro is a student at Harwood Union High School. This was Dylan's first year participating in Music-Comp's Opus concert.

October's Student Composer Showcase features Dylan Mauro, at student at Harwood Union High School. Dylan's piece "Cambio de Tango" was premiered at Music-COMP's Opus 37 concert in May of this year.

Dylan Mauro: Well, I kind of picked up ideas from the reggaeton music from Puerto Rico. The backbeats can be heard in the song that I wrote. And then it transitions into a waltz, and then it ends in a danzon which I'd played earlier with the Vermont Youth Orchestra. Really enjoyed the sound of that. So, I kind of built off that to end the piece.

James Stewart: That’s Dylan Mauro, this month’s featured composer for our Student Composer Showcase. Dylan’s piece “Cambio De Tango” was premiered at Music-COMP’s Opus 37 concert in May of this year when Dylan was a Junior at Harwood Union High School. Dylan also plays the cello with the VYO.

Dylan Mauro: Well, this is my first year composing a song for the Opus. But, outside of that, I've just composed or written lyrics and songs and chord progressions on my own just because I'll get ideas in my head and I feel like I need to put them somewhere.

James Stewart: Dylan found a home for his ideas at Music-COMP, the music composition mentoring program that pairs student composers with mentors to create original works. Dylan worked with two mentors in the program, Hannah Ishazaki and Erik Neilsen.

Dylan Mauro: With Hannah, we would chat on the computer and she gave me a lot of helpful ideas about how to make the piece, take a step back and tell me what the piece would need or how to change the vibe of it. Whereas working with Eric, he helped me a lot with the technical stuff in Noteflight. It’s a great opportunity that they have set up here for all these kids to hear their pieces performed by professional musicians.

James Stewart: Here’s Dylan introducing and describing this exciting piece at the premiere…

Dylan Mauro: Hi, my name is Dylan Mauro and I'm a junior at Harwood High school. The piece I wrote for you is called “Cambio De Tango,” which translates to “changing song” or “changing tango”. The title is reflected in the music as it brings you through multiple stylistic changes. The inspiration for my piece was from the backbeat of reggaeton songs and ancient European waltzes. I hope you enjoy.

“Cambio De Tango” by Dylan Mauro
Chris Rivers, trumpet
Jesse Metzler, trombone
Bill Keck, tuba
Andy Gagnon, Matt Larocca and Evan Peltier, percussion.

Performed at Music-COMP’s Opus 37 concert, May 2, 2023 at The Cathedral of St. Joseph in Burlington, Vermont.

The Student Composer Showcase is produced in collaboration with Music-COMP, the music composition mentoring program and Lake Champlain Access Television. 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

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.