Thursday, April 05, 2012

Great Lakes Theatre Shakespeare Composing Contest

GREAT LAKES THEATRE celebrates Shakespeare’s birthday with music

April 23 is the anniversary of William Shakespeare’s 448th birthday. That gala date will be celebrated by Great Lakes Theatre, Cleveland’s classic company, in grand style. In cooperation with WCPN 90.3 FM, the announcement of their 2012 songwriting contest winners will officially be announced.

The competition was open to junior and senior high school soloists or bands. The assignment was to submit new, original music inspired by ROMEO AND JULIET, which will be in production at GLT on the Bard’s birthday.

“The idea of the songwriting contest is to connect musically talented students to classic works of literature appearing on the Great Lakes stage,” said the theatre’s Education Director Daniel Hahn. “Shakespeare has inspired countless artists, and since his plays are often musical and lyrical, we wanted to see how student composers might respond to his work.”

“We had over 75 students enter the contest this year, far and away the most ever,” said Hahn, “and the entries were so good we actually added a fifth grand prize winner, after originally planning for just four.”

The grand prize winners were: Alex Berko (grade 10, Solon High--pictured above), Lexi Clegg (grade 7, Laurel School), Maria Bernadette DiDonato (grade 12, Normandy High), Keifer Wiley (grade 11, Orange High), and the band “InTandem,” featuring Wil Birsic (grade 12, Elyria Catholic), Brett Diederich (grade 12, Elyria Catholic), Zach Gunelach (grade 12, Elyria Catholic), and Caitlin Terrell (grade 12, Medina High).

Music submissions of all styles and genres were accepted. Each grand prize winning entry received a $250 cash prize, a professionally engineered recording, commemorative CDs and a radio broadcast of the song on a special edition of WCPN’s Around Noon. Winners were interviewed by Dee Perry, the host of the program. In addition, winners received tickets for a production of ROMEO AND JULIET.