The student composers at the UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music were bustling with creative energy all fall semester, composing new pieces for orchestra to compete for the incredible opportunity to have their pieces read and rehearsed by Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. To prepare, the students studied and discussed orchestral works by established composers, and even had a visit from the ASO’s head librarian to lead a workshop on the finer details of preparing sheet music for a professional orchestra.

The pieces were sent to the ASO in December, and by January the winning selections were announced:

  • Jason Abraham: In the Middle of the Surrounding Hullabaloo
  • Nikolos Bacote: Float
  • Nicholas Gambino: Imposter Syndrome
  • Badie Khaleghian: Shiraz
  • Annie Leeth: Anew
  • Catherine Willingham: A Moment in Time

On Friday, March 23rd from 1:30-4pm in Hodgson Hall at the UGA Performing Arts Center, Robert Spano will lead the Atlanta Symphony in a reading and rehearsal of each of their compositions. The reading/rehearsal session is free and open to the public. If you’ve ever wanted to know what goes into preparing a premiere of a new composition by a major orchestra, come by!

Robert Spano, Atlanta Symphony Artistic Director

The workshop will be preceded by a 45-minute panel discussion between the Robert Spano and the selected student composers, moderated by UGA Assistant Professor of Composition, Peter Van Zandt Lane. This event will take place at on March 23rd from 12:30-1:15pm in Edge Hall at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, and is also open to the public.

The Atlanta Symphony Composers Workshop at UGA was made possible by the generous support of the Willson Center for Arts and Humanities at UGA, the President’s Venture Fund at UGA, the Atlanta Symphony and the Hugh Hodgson School of Music.

For more info, contact