The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Students go on to nationals for ensemble compositions

By Gerrit Goodwin/ ne news editor

A current and a former NE student took honors at the Texas Music Teachers Association’s Original Composition Contest and are moving on to nationals. 

Ethan Reese placed third in state for small ensemble with his submission of “Hiver Nocturne.” Former NE student Jon Mayse placed first in state for small ensemble and big ensemble with his submissions of “Song of Rebirth” and “Song of Myself,” respectively.

“The ensembles will be played at the Texas Music Teachers Association state convention this year, so TCC is going to have a large presence there this year,” music associate professor Hsinyi Wang said. “I think Jon has a good chance at placing in nationals with his two pieces. I went to his concert in April in San Antonio, and his performance was very good.”

Mayse attended NE from 2014 to 2015 when he first submitted his ensembles. He currently resides in Philadelphia, where he still pursues music at Temple University.

“Music has been an obsession of mine all of my life. I picked up my first guitar when I was 10 and never put it down again,” he said. “I didn’t actually get into writing serious compositions until I was in high school. Before high school when I wrote, it was mostly because of my ADD, and I would listen to songs and try to write down the notes.”

For his ensembles, Mayse said he was inspired by French piano techniques and modern European music, and he believes there is still much for him to learn. In the meantime, he is enjoying his new city and his studies.

Reese said his family has always been invested in the arts, but he was unsure what career he would pursue at an early age.

“I had two sisters that wanted to get into acting and visual arts. But when I told my sister that I also wanted to be an actor, she told me to go find something else because it was already taken,” he said. “Eventually, I began seriously pursuing the French horn and found a passion for writing music along the way.”

Reese said he first started writing music in middle school.

“I used to write pop songs for a long time,” he said. “Last year, I came to a crossroads when deciding what I wanted to pursue and took an intensive composition course. At the end of those two weeks, I realized I loved it and decided to stick with composition.”

The inspiration for his small ensemble piece had come originally from a poem he had written, Reese said.

“The poem was about conflicting thoughts I was having and involved me arguing with myself, and I thought this would be a good classical composition,” he said. “It was my first time completing a classical and also my first time enrolling in a competition, so placing third came as a very pleasant surprise.”

Next semester, Reese said he will attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston and wants to continue pursuing his dream career of composing music for film.

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