Magic Baton Melody Contest Names Winner

SBO Staff • News • February 19, 2023

The Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra and composer-in-residence David Fixmer created the inaugural “Magic Baton Melody Contest,” a composition contest serving local music students in grades 2-12.

In its inaugural year, the Magic Baton Melody Contest drew 140 submissions in the middle school category, of which four honorable mentions and one grand prize winner was awarded. After receiving all the submissions from the music teachers with participating students, Fixmer began the process of selecting the winning melody. “I was really looking for phrase and melodic interest,” explained Fixmer. “I wanted the students to express their feelings in their melody that showed a clear sense of balance between repetition and novelty.” 

Grand prize winner Lily was not particularly excited about the melody she composed, but still submitted it due to the encouragement she received from her teacher, friends, and family. “My dad encouraged me to turn it in even though I didn’t like it. He said, ‘that’s what a lot of amazing artists said when they wrote their masterpiece, drew their masterpiece, but they will always say they can do better because that’s what artists and creatives do.’ That really drove me to turn it in and gain more confidence in my melody. The artist is always the worst critic.” 

Before writing the orchestrated version of Lily’s melody, Fixmer was able to interview her about what inspired her composition. Lily’s melody was meant to portray a walk one might take through a rose garden on a beautiful moonlit night, arriving at a grand ballroom covered in beautiful gold mosaics for an evening gala. With this information, he orchestrated a two-and-a-half-minute piece for the symphony, attempting to capture the grandeur of her story. 

The Magic Baton Melody Contest will run annually and have both a middle school and high school level component.

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