For the past 4 years, The ASCAP Foundation has provided a grant to Music-COMP (formerly known as The Vermont MIDI Project) to support its Composer to Composer: Professionals Mentoring Young Composers program. The program has fostered a community of music educators and professional composer mentors who encourage and support technology as a tool for music composition for students in grades 3-12.
Since its inception in 1995, the program has grown beyond its Vermont borders. Students in Connecticut, Indiana and Virginia now have access to the technology to create their own music. Currently over 59 Vermont schools are involved in the program and a total of over 7,000 students nationwide actively use the services of Music COMP.
Students receive professional feedback on their writing, arranging, orchestration and recording of their original works from seasoned composers. ASCAP members who serve as mentors include: Dominique Gagne, Molly Joyce, Matt LaRocca, Robinson McClellan, Matt McConnell, Patricia Morehead, Erik Nielsen, Matt Podd and Zach Sheets.
One of the mentors, Zach Sheets, a former participant in the program also received an ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award and now attends Harvard University and is majoring in music.
Twice each year, the project presents live performances of selected student compositions played by professional musicians. Opus 24 will take place at the Town Hall Auditorium in Ludlow, VT on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. Around 22 compositions will be selected for the performance by string and woodwind players. Students will attend an afternoon rehearsal session with the musicians where the young composers guide the musicians in rehearsal of the composition. An evening performance is open to the public and free of charge. For more information on the program and how to support the concert go to: http://www.vtmidi.org/