Music of the Spheres

Annika Joshi, one of our talented composers

October 2022 has been an exciting month for Harmonia. So many winners!

MTNA Composition Competition:

Six of our students entered the state level of this year’s MTNA competition – five Seniors and one Elementary.  Here are the winners and representatives selected for North Carolina:

  • Raphael Mouawad won first place in the Senior level for his piano solo “Open Ocean”. The two movements are Prelude and Scherzo. Congratulations, Raphi!
  • Andrew Xu was given honorable mention in the Senior level for his “Scherzo for Violin and Piano”. This exciting piece is Andrew’s first entry into any composition competition. Good job, Andrew!
  • Rex Reynolds was selected as representative for the Elementary level for his piano solo “Migration”. This was also Rex’s first entry into any composition competition. Excellent work, Rex!
  • We also had one winner from Georgia!  Annika Joshi won first place in the Senior level in Georgia for her piece “Entropy”, written for flute, cello and harp.

Since the advent of Covid, Harmonia students all do Zoom lessons, which has allowed Julie Harris to teach students from other states. It’s so rewarding!

Raphael, Rex, and Annika will automatically advance to the division competition. The results of that competition will be announced in mid-December.

2022 Marvin Hamlisch International Music Awards

This prestigious contest invited composers from all over the world to write an original piece of music inspired by a wonderful short film, “Jonas and the Sea”. Last week, the Nominees (Finalists) were announced, and we were thrilled that two of our students were included in the list of five finalists in the Youth Classical Composition Category!

  • Annika Joshi, who is currently a high-school Junior from Duluth Georgia, wrote “Amphitrite” for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, harp and strings. Here is her description of the piece: “At its core, Amphitrite represents the sea. It portrays the water as almost an alternate reality, a magical and wondrous escape from a human society that, at times, seems mundane. It is for the individualistic, for the creative, and, above all, for the dreamers. The piece is titled Amphitrite after the Greek goddess of the sea because she symbolizes adventure, risk, and curiosity, and embodies the beauty and enchantment of the sea.”
  • Alex Moiseev, who is currently a freshman composition major at Cleveland Institute of Music, wrote “Aquatic Colors from Jonas and the Sea” for full orchestra. Here is his introduction to the piece: “I wrote this work based on the short film ”Jonas and the Sea,” a film set on an island with four brothers, one who is fascinated with the aquatic life surrounding the island. During the course of the plot, the animators color the water three separate ways: the calm surface water, the mysterious under water, and the raging storm water. I wrote a a piece that reflects each of these colors in their own sections with contrasting textures. By using the delicacy of the celeste, the deep mysteriousness of the low strings, the thunder of low brass and percussion and 2 contrasting musical themes, I chose to reflect the use of aquatic colors and correlating moods through an auditory medium, allowing for another form of expression of the different settings and atmospheres of the film.”

A Distinguished Jury will anonymously evaluate the nominees and select the award recipients. Award recipients will be announced at a virtual worldwide ceremony in November. Last year’s presenters at the award ceremony were Quincy Jones, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Idina Menzel, Sir Howard Stringer, Maria Friedman, Lucie Arnaz and Melissa Manchester.

Good luck Annika and Alex!

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