‘It’s a great way to express ourselves’ – new club gives composers creative outlet

Photo by Isaiah Johnson

By: Chelsea Sydnor

The Society of Composers has completed a long journey to becoming officially recognized on the Gardner-Webb campus.

The club was approved as an official Gardner-Webb club by the Student Government Association at their meeting Monday, Feb. 22, 2016.

Senior composition major, Colt Cooper. Photo by Isaiah Johnson

Senior composition major, Colt Cooper.
Photo by Isaiah Johnson

Senior composition major Colt Cooper, the club’s president, says the club has been forming for almost three years. It was originally the idea of a former composition professor, Dr. Sarah Gaskins.

“She was really pivotal in the process, because we wouldn’t have even thought of the idea,” said Cooper.

The original plan was based on other colleges giving performances to not only raise awareness of composers, but also to “give back” to the audience.

“Any art that is made is made for the people viewing it or listening to it,” said Cooper. “It’s also a great way to express ourselves.”

Cooper and the group decided to officially begin the club after the first concert that they held in 2014 was successful.

“The concert itself was a lot of work to put together because of scheduling, writing the pieces and finding people to play them,” said Cooper. “Once it was finished, and we realized that we had enjoyed it and gotten positive feedback, we decided to see what else we could do.”

With the help of Dr. Matt Whitfield, the full-time Composition and Theory professor, and fellow student J.J. Gibbs, Cooper looked into the idea of participating in the national Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI), as it would be a way to gain funding and validity.

“You can be a member of SCI without being in a chapter,” said Cooper. “Then if you have enough

Inside the O.M.G. building. Photo by Isaiah Johnson

Inside the O.M.G. building.
Photo by Isaiah Johnson

members in a university setting, you can have a chapter.”

Now, with four members varying from sophomores to seniors, as well as an alumnus and two advisors – Whitfield and Dr. Bruce Moser – the chapter has finally gained their recognition as a club at Gardner-Webb.

However, Cooper is concerned that it may become difficult to maintain the club because fewer composition majors are coming in as freshmen. While anyone can join the club, the most interest is often from composition majors.

In the meantime, the club will continue to meet to critique and discuss its members’ newly composed music.

The Society of Composers will host their Third Annual New Music Concert Thursday, April 14, at 8 p.m. in Dover Theatre. They hope you will come out to enjoy the experience.

If interested in joining the Society of Composers, contact Colt Cooper at ccooper5@gardner-webb.edu.

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