American Composers Forum recognizes Arts Academy senior Nathaniel Heyder

  • Nathaniel "Nate" Heyder performs during the 2017 Lincoln Center chamber concert.

Current Interlochen Arts Academy violinist and composition major Nathaniel Heyder has been selected as one of the winners of the 2017 NextNotes competition.

NextNotes is a nation-wide competition hosted by the American Composers Forum for high school-age composers of any genre. To apply, each eligible composer submits a single composition; six NextNotes composers are selected from the pool of applicants. This year’s competition received over 130 submissions, which were judged by a panel of leading American composers including Chris Koza, Elliott Miles McKinley, Alex Shapiro, Curtis Stewart and Jen Wang.

“I am extremely pleased that Nate has received this award,” said Instructor of Composition Cynthia Van Maanen. “He is someone who works very hard on his music and on improving himself as both a composer and violinist. He is also a leader in our composition studio, often encouraging and helping his peers. I am very proud of Nate and honored that I’ve been able to work with him for three years here at Interlochen. Nate has been accepted to the Cleveland Institute of Music and will be attending there starting in the fall of 2017. I know that we will continue to hear of his success as an artist and I look forward to seeing what he is able to accomplish!”

The winning composers will attend a two-day, all-expenses-paid workshop in Minneapolis, Minn. in June. During the workshop, the winners will be mentored by composers Carol Barnett, Joshua Clausen and Joseph Horton, and will have their award-winning pieces performed by professional musicians at the NextNotes Showcase Concert on June 24. Each composer also receives a $1,000 scholarship to continue their studies, a $500 grant to share their work with their hometown and free Finale software courtesy of MakeMusic Inc.

In addition, each winning composer is invited to recognize one of their teachers for recognition by the American Composer's Forum. Heyder chose to recognize Van Maanen, who will also receive a free subcription to Finale software in recognition of her contribution to Heyder's life and art. As Molly Monahan (IAC 14, IAA 14-16), who was selected as a NextNotes composer last year also chose to recognize Van Maanen, this is Van Maanen's second consecutive year to receive the honor.

"I have had the privilege of working with [Dr. Van Maanen] for the past three years and I owe much of my success as a composer to the insight she has shared with me over this time period," wrote Heyder in his recognition submission. "While studying with her, I have learned to trust her judgment and the advice she gives me and the result is always a favorable outcome. Dr. Van Maanen has a way of teaching that I feel is essential for all young composers to be exposed to. She remains insistent on my understanding of certain fundamentals of composition while at the same time offers a lot of freedom when it comes to the projects, pieces and styles that I choose to explore. During my time as her student, I have been exposed to many opportunities and experiences in the field of composition thanks to her teaching and guidance.”

In its third year, the NextNotes competition seeks to “nurture the next generation of creative voices in music composition.”

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