Canada Music Week Student Composer Competition
The MRMTA Canada Music Week Student Composer Competition is a wonderful opportunity for non-professional students to practise and display their ability to compose. This creative outlet is a truly rewarding learning experience for both student and teacher.
Whether it be on piano, voice, or other instruments , students are encouraged to “noodle” around. The actual writing on paper of their composition is very instructive promoting a fusion of the student’s theory and improvisatory skills. Students are guided towards greater heights in composition through both positive comments and constructive criticism by competent adjudicators.
There are five age categories to enter: 8 & under, 11 & under, 15 & under, 19 & under and Open. Winning entries from the MRMTA Student Composer Competition will then advance to the CFMTA Student Composer Competition for competition at the national level.
Please see the entry and regulation forms for more details.
OUR 2020 WINNERS:
CATEGORY "PREPARATORY" CLASS 1: Mila Pitz
I am 7 years old and I am in grade 2 at St. John’s Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg. I started playing piano when I was 6 years old and my favourite song to play right now is Driving Range. I love Giraffes and my favourite colour is Orange! I also love playing with my Cat KitKat and my sister Alexa!
CATEGORY "A" CLASS 1: Alexa Pitz
My name is Alexa Pitz and I am 9 years old. I am in grade 4 at St. John’s Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg. I have been playing piano since grade 1. My favorite place to be is Falcon Lake. I like to be outdoors and collect animals like frogs, fish, caterpillars, crayfish and other things. I also like to read and swim. I have a sister and a cat I like to play with. I have just started composing a song called the “Online Learning Blues”. In my opinion, school at school is much better than online learning.
CATEGORY "B" CLASS 1: Nigel Stahl
Hi, my name is Nigel Stahl. I started taking piano lessons in grade 4 and am in grade 4 in piano. I’ve won first place in the grade 2 category in my school division’s annual Festival of the Arts. I like playing piano and often arrange hymns to sing with my friends. I also really like to play the accordion. Some of my hobbies are playing instruments, reading, photography, and video-editing.
Category "C": Graham Nash
Graham Hunter Nash, born in Winnipeg Manitoba, is currently 18 years of age and has been playing piano since he was seven years old. He had always had a love for music, even since birth, but he found it easier expressed through the instrument. Graham has played in the foyer of the centennial Concert hall, opening for the orchestra with many other musicians. He has always had a competitive spirit which has translated into Track and Field at the provincial and national level. Graham is currently enjoying life at home with his parents and his sister.
Category "D": Anna Schwartz
Anna Schwartz is a piano student attending Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg. Her focus is music and biochemistry looking toward a future in medicine. She studies piano with Loren Hiebert and Shirley Elias, as well as composition with Neil Weisensel. Anna enjoys studying voice with David Klassen and participates in several choirs, including the CMU Festival Chorus and the Southern Manitoba Choral Society. She holds an ARCT in Piano Performance and earned a provincial Gold Medal in Grade 10 Voice. Anna likes to run, play squash, and improvise on the piano. She often participates in church services as pianist and organist.
OUR 2019 WINNERS:
CATEGORY "PREPARATORY" CLASS 1: Jai Claire
Jai Claire is an eight year old 2nd grader who loves math, piano and violin. He also plays a variety of sports which include: Hockey, Soccer and Golf. He is fascinated with electronics and mechanical stuff. He spends a lot of time building cool things with LEGO.
In the summertime, Jai enjoys spending time with his dad at the farm cutting and baling alfalfa. When he grows up, he would like to work at NASA or be an electrical engineer.
CATEGORY "A" CLASS 1: Hermione Claire
Hermione is an eleven year old 6th grader who lives in Souris, MB. She enjoys the quiet town among other things that include dancing, singing and participating in plays. She also studies violin in the Suzuki Talent Education Program at Brandon University. She loves to read and write as well.
Hermione has a younger brother named Jai who is also learning piano and violin. Hermione loves to play with her dog, Captain. In the summertime, Hermione enjoys golfing, swimming, gardening and picking berries with her mom. When she grows up, she would like to be a lawyer.
CATEGORY "B" CLASS 2: Sheen Dube
I am a 14 year old who loves music, art and sports. I am a grade 9 student at Saint John’s Ravenscourt School. I love to play piano in the evenings. My passion however is song writing. I wrote my first song when I was 7 years old on water scarcity. Now, my songs usually focus on emotions like love, friendship empowerment, fighting, etc. This song was dedicated to my friend who was going through a rough time, and I wanted her to know I was always by her side. Although I prefer upbeat songs, I enjoy listening to any kind of music. Music inspires me in many ways.
Category "D": Evan Miles
Evan Miles is 18 years old and lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He is currently enrolled in Grade 12 French Immersion at Ecole Secondary Kelvin High School, however he will be studying jazz in the Desautels Faculty of Music at the U of M in the fall.
Since an early age, Evan has expressed an interest in composing music. His passion for jazz and improvising is strongly rooted in his love of creating music of his own. To him, composition and jazz go hand in hand, as in both mediums, the artist attempts to create a story or convey an emotion using harmony and melody When Evan is not involved in music related activities, he enjoys rock climbing and playing ultimate frisbee with his friends.
OUR 2018 WINNERS:
CATEGORY A CLASS 1: Max Merckx
My name is Max Merckx, I’m nine years old and I live in Boissevain Manitoba. I enjoy nature, going to our family cabin, tubing, playing hockey, and I also like to play video games. I’ve participated in Boissevain’s Composers and Kids event 2 years in a row, and I really enjoy meeting Canadian Composers. This past year I competed in the Boissevain Festival of the Arts in the piano category, and I also sang with the Boissevain School Grade 3 choir.
CATEGORY B CLASS 1: Elena Neufeld
Biography for Elena Neufeld
Hi, my name is Elena Neufeld and I live on a farm near Margaret, MB. I’m 15 years old, and in grade 9 at Boissevain School. In my free time I like riding my horse, sketching, photography, snowboarding, writing, and hanging out with my friends.
I like playing percussion in my high school band, and I study privately the violin, and piano. I’m a member of the Brandon Youth Orchestra and Suzuki group through the Brandon University Conservatory.
CATEGORY B CLASS 2: Sheen Dube
Sheen Dube was born in Winnipeg. She began piano lessons when she was 4 years of age and started voice lessons 3 years ago. Sheen wrote her first song when she was 7 years old focusing on day to day issues in the world such as water scarcity. She has been doing it off and on ever since.
Sheen’s taste in music varies greatly, from pop to classical and jazz to ethnic. Sheen’s musical interest is part of a wider activity including going to concerts, playing the tuba in the school band, singing and composing music. She is currently in Grade 8 at St. John’s Ravenscourt School.
When Sheen is not making music or listening to her favourite singer, she likes to play badminton and watch movies.
CATEGORY "C": Evan Miles
Evan Miles is 17 years old and lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He has been studying classical piano with Gina Wedel since he was 4 years old and jazz piano and composition with Kevin Curtis since he was 12. Evan’s compositions reflect his jazz piano background as his knowledge of jazz theory and harmony allows him to create unique chord voicings and interesting resolutions. In addition to piano, Evan plays trombone, drums, guitar and is teaching himself upright bass. He is enrolled in grade 11 French Immersion and Kelvin High School, where he is a part of the senior jazz band, concert band and the president of the environmental action committee. In his free time, Evan enjoys rock climbing, Ultimate Frisbee, attending jam sessions and playing pool with his friends.
OUR 2017 WINNERS:
CATEGORY PREPARATORY CLASS 1: Evan Raes
I live close to Deloraine, MB, on a farm. I have eight people in my family. I have three brothers and two sisters.
I am in Grade 2 at Deloraine School. I like animals and reading information about ANYTHING. I am researching about Antarctica at school. I play hockey and go skiing, but sometimes I wipe out on the jumps or if I go too fast. My favourite colour is blue and my favourite number is 17. It is the best number because I just turned eight on June 17!
I started piano in MYC when I was five years old. I like to play jazzy pieces on the piano and sometimes I do peaceful ones. I like piano because I get to go to Summer Sizzle and meet composers. I get to see Christopher Norton and Debra Wanless and lots more new composers this July in Mount Forest, ON at Summer Sizzle’s Keyboard Camp!
In May, I did my first CNCM Performance Exam - the Introductory level. I started private lessons with Tenley Dyck, from Boissevain this year. This was my first time composing my own piece. Pentatonic Tiger, was selected to be part of the students’ composition book High Tail It, Haydn, published by CNCM and will be released in July. I am excited to be a Canadian
CATEGORY A CLASS 1: Ran (Grace) Xu
Ran Xu, known as Grace，was born in China and immigrated to Canada right before her 6 years’ birthday. She first started to learn piano when she was 5, and restarted half a year after moving to Canada. Grace composed this winning piece “Sword Festival of Mystery” and entered the 2017 CMW Student Composer Competition when she’s 9 years old.
Grace is currently studying at Chancellor School in Winnipeg. She enjoys reading, swimming and record videos for her YouTube channel “Hoopa & Rayquaza Girl Challenges”. She wishes to become a scientist when she grows up.
CATEGORY A CLASS 2: Katherine & Naomi Wiebe
Katherine, age 9, and Naomi, age 11, are sisters who have been taking piano lessons since they were in grade one. Their teacher, Mrs. Julia Todd, has encouraged them to play duets, trios and recently a quartet, which has inspired the girls to be creative and compose their own music. This is their first attempt at entering a competition.
CATEGORY B CLASS 1: Kiersten Harper
Hello, my name is Kiersten Harper and I am 13 years old. I live in Boissevain manitoba, and I am in grade 8 at boissevain school. This has been the second time that I have won my group in this competition. For the past 5 years I have been going to CNCM's summer sizzle. This year it is held in mount forest, Ontario. I have been taking piano lessons since I was six years old. I am in our school choir and also the junior band and play flute. During my free time I enjoy hanging out with friends and reading.
CATEGORY B CLASS 2: Jasmine Pomrenke