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Title:Shadows - My Journey as a First-Time Composer
Author(s):Waterson, Nathan
Subject(s):Second Place
SATB Choral Composition
American Choral Directors Association (ACDA)
Student Chapter
Abstract:"Shadows - My Journey as a First-Time Composer" - Program Note by composer Over the last few years, I have had many personal struggles with my own mental health. The severity of these struggles varied over that time, but as many of us know it became a lot harder to manage mental health and achieving any form of normalcy during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Trying to balance two jobs, a full-time student schedule, and what little of a social life one can have during corona-time has been one of the greatest struggles of my life. I wrote the lyrics to "Shadows" one night when I was in an especially dark place. I had just gotten off work, had been in class all morning, and was facing an ever-growing pile of assignment deadlines, both missed and quickly approaching. My apartment was a mess, I hadn't seen my family in weeks and I didn't know where to go or what to do to escape what felt like I was truly drowning in my present reality. So, I started writing my thoughts down. Within an hour I had focused my energy on what had blossomed into a poem, which over the next week I put to music, and then worked with my amazing friends and colleagues to form a virtual performance the weeks after that. There wasn’t any real “process,” but as a first-time composer, I considered this adventure to be identifying potential processes for my future compositions. This project has been a light in a time of my life that doesn't have much light. While I am not magically cured of my struggles, I find hope in the passion for music that I rediscovered on this journey. My goal in sharing this piece is to spread the message that even at your darkest and scariest moments, you are not alone.
Issue Date:2021
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-05-10

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