Photo by Julia Kelley

On April 3, the Student Composers Concert of Original Works was held at Riley Auditorium, allowing composition students from Otterbein's Department of Music to present their original works, which included solos, chamber music, and electro-acoustic music produced and performed by students.

This was the 10th time the event had taken place on campus, and Jennifer Merkowitz, professor of music and head of theory and composition, was thrilled to see it return after a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year's concert [was] exciting because we haven't been able to have one in a couple of years,” Merkowitz said. “For some of these composers it's really the first time that they are presenting their work in a concert.”

There were musical theater and electronic pieces, duos, trios, and solos composed by students in a class setting or during a composition lesson.


“The students have been working on some of these pieces for a long time. Some of them even started last year or were finished last year,” Merkowitz said. “The preparation for the concert for presenting it and practicing the music has happened in the last month or two.”

Elijah Simpkins' role as a student composer was to write at least one piece for the recital, which he did with a chamber ensemble piece for 13 instruments.

“I think it's important for our pieces to be heard, especially as we are getting ready to graduate and go into the professional world,” Simpkins said.