On April 20, 2022, the NHS Fine Arts Department and teacher Chris Lee were delighted to present a grand return of the annual NHS Composers' Concert, a live event that offers a sampling of original work from our amazing student composers! Check out some of the pieces that were shared...
Smartphone ringtones, by Jason Quiroz, Ben Stubbs, Shane Feeley, and Dean Carollo:
World music project, by Rose Lehnes:
World music project, by Jonathan Ramzy:
Instrumental arrangement of English folk song ("King's Lynn"), by Bella Battaglia:
Film scoring warmup project, by Matt Pietrorazio:
Students in Mr. Lee's Music Technology 1 classes were busy this past fall semester producing original music with terrific craft and creativity! Here are some samples...
Students in Mr. Lee’s 2020-21 music classes have engaged in creative work spanning a wide range of forms and styles. The two projects highlighted below illustrate this point!
English Folk Song Arrangement
Students in Harmony and Composition 1 used compositional tools -- such as doubling, high pedal ostinatos, scalar figuration, and parallel harmony -- to create fresh instrumental arrangements of classic English folk songs.
Students in Music Technology 3 were given a sheet of paper, a microphone, and the myriad audio resources of Logic Pro (our audio production software), and they were asked to create something completely new in sound. These highlights demonstrate the innovation and skill of our students, who transformed the mundane "rips and crinkles" of a piece of paper into novel musical grooves!
Students in Mr. Lee's Newtown High School Music Technology classes have been making great use of audio production software to create excellent new music. Here’s a sampling of recent projects focused on creative use of audio editing and processing techniques as well as incorporation of outside audio samples.
Students in Mr. Lee's music technology courses have continued to produce fresh, well-crafted original music, even amid the 2020 global pandemic! When health considerations forced us to learn from home, students demonstrated great resolve by mapping their existing software skills onto new online resources (namely, the widely used application Soundtrap).
In Music Technology 1, students used Soundtrap to create original soundtracks for car commercials. Through careful selection and editing of diverse audio samples, students infused their music with the sounds needed to support the emotions and images on screen. Here's are some audio samples from freshman Rose Lehnes, junior Matthew Maher, and senior Zack Majeski.
Meanwhile, students in Music Technology 2 dabbled in film scoring as they created original music for a movie trailer promoting the 1990s film Volcano. Notice how junior Andrew Jacobs skillfully builds up and maintains emotional tension over the course this short but impactful piece:
And in this next example, we hear an excerpt from sophomore Nicolas Diaz, whose resourcefulness is on full display. The excerpt you hear incorporates multiple tracks of Nicolas himself playing guitar. As he explores a rich palette of audio processing options, Nicolas stirs up an electrifying (and electrified) texture of music.
The extended school closure of 2020 hasn't stop Newtown High School music students from making amazing music! Here are a few samples of original compositions created by members of Mr. Lee's Music Technology classes.
Found Sound Project:
One assignment was to capture "found sounds" from within the students' homes and then manipulate those sounds -- along with other musical elements -- to create original pieces of music.
In this 4th example, Brian Garten set for himself the challenge using his "found sounds" exclusively as the only available ingredient for his composing. Listen to what Brian was able to create using ONLY field recordings of ordinary sounds from within his home (e.g., coffee maker brewing) and manipulating those everyday sounds through his mastery of audio software...
Other original pieces:
Students in Mr. Lee’s Music Technology classes demonstrated terrific imagination and craft throughout the Fall 2019 semester. Here is a sampling of original student works!
Students in Mr. Lee’s Music Technology 3 class recently explored wild possibilities in audio editing and processing! Students were given a microphone and a blank sheet of copy paper (8.5 x 11). The assignment was to create something using ONLY sounds recorded from the paper (e.g., ripping, crumpling, flicking, etc.). This was an exercise in creating original music out of the everyday sounds of a mundane object (copy paper): to elevate the ordinary into something more extraordinary — that is, musical art!
This was a 2-day activity, so short drafts of musical fragments were expected. But even in a couple of periods, students demonstrated significant skill and imagination in manipulating audio production software to shape sound in amazing ways.
Some examples of audio manipulations include:
* Cutting sound samples into smaller pieces; arranging those pieces in musical rhythm
* Filtering sound samples through audio effects, such as reverb
* Time-stretching sound samples
* Moving sound samples higher or lower in musical pitch
* Generating tonal sounds (i.e., sounds with sustained duration and pitch, as would be heard from a horn or piano) and mapping those tonal sounds onto the keys of the piano; then, performing harmonies and melodies (all from the sheer sound of copy paper!)
Check out some samples below!
Students in Mr. Lee's music classes have been producing creative music and compelling audio throughout the fall months. Here's a sampling of student work!
In Music Technology 1, students created original music and sound for video game clips. In the process, they studied a technique of interactive music known as "vertical layering." Here are some samples:
Brian Garten - Original music and sound for Rayman Legends
Ava Feeley - Original music and sound for Danganronpa (excerpt)
In Music Technology 2, students warmed up their film-scoring skills by creating original music to accompany a still image.
In the following example, Myles Ku evokes his selected image with compelling music that demonstrates the timeless value of standard compositional devices [such as rhythmic and sustained pedal points (or drones)].
In another assignment, students created original music for a standard Hollywood movie trailer.
Here's Marty Godbout's score for the Volcano (1997) trailer:
AP Music Theory students created four-measure chorale phrases using newly acquired skills of harmony and voice leading. Bringing their work to life, members of the class brought in their instruments for an informal reading session. Here are a couple of samples: [Listening hint: Both phrases are in a simple triple meter, so try to hear them in "3 beats per measure."]
Student Work and News
From our young composers, producers, and performers at NHS.