Interlochen student and alumni win NextNotes Composition Awards

  • Interlochen Arts Academy composition students Shuto Nakagawa (left), Chaoran Zhang (center), and Grant Bishko (right) were among the 2019 NextNotes honorees.

Interlochen Arts Academy sophomore Chaoran Zhang has been selected as one of the six winners of the fifth annual NextNotes High School Composition Awards. Camp alumni Olivia Bennett (IAC 18), Tyson Davis (IAC 17), and Charlie Meenaghan (IAC 17) are also winners.

Presented by the American Composers Forum, the NextNotes program recognizes and encourages the next generation of composers through mentorship, scholarships, and professional performances of their works. The winning works were selected from a pool of nearly 190 submissions to receive the prestigious honor.

“I am so pleased to see Interlochen composers recognized by the American Composers Forum,” said Interlochen Arts Academy Instructor of Composition Cynthia Van Maanen. “Winning the NextNotes Award is an incredible honor, and provides wonderful opportunities for the recipients. I am especially proud of my three Academy students for the hard work they put into preparing their pieces. Congratulations to all our winners!"

As winners of the 2019 awards, the musicians will participate in the NextNotes Showcase Concert on June 22, during which their pieces will be performed by professional musicians. Winners will also participate in mentorship sessions with professional composers Carol Barnett, Joshua Clausen, and PaviElle French.

To commemorate the fifth year of the NextNotes program, the American Composers Forum has invited all past program winners—including Interlochen Arts Academy alumni Molly Monahan (IAC 14, IAA 14-16) and Nathaniel Heyder (IAA 14-17)—to join the festivities in Minneapolis.

Camp alumnus Benjamin Beckman (IAC 11-17) was an alternate for the award. Arts Academy students Grant Bishko and Shuto Nakagawa and Arts Camp alumni Sam Parnin (IAC 18), Katherine Pieschala (IAC 16-17), and Emily Singleton (IAC 18) received honorable mentions from the program.

Want to take your composition skills to the next level? Apply to the Interlochen Arts Camp or Arts Academy composition programs!