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Kalysha Chandler

H aving the opportunity to participate as a Barlow intern was among the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had a student. I was incredibly privileged to be around some of the top composing minds in the world and was able to gain a unique insight into what specific qualities are necessary for a successful, mature, impactful composition. I learned so many things about what I needed to apply to my own music and compositional processes in order to create meaningful music, as well as what things I needed to do to help me grow as a composer. From a competition standpoint, it was helpful to see what judges are looking for and what I can do to make music more engaging and fulfilling.

My understanding of and appreciation for quality music that was meaningful deepened as I was able to listen to insightful discussions about qualities of different pieces that were valuable to creating successful music. Additionally, I was able to engage in many conversations with the judges who were kind enough to give me specific advice about my compositional outputs, processes, and experiences. Overall, I felt enriched as a composer, musician, and person because of the interactions I was able to have with the many talented and successful people there as well as the impressive dialogues I was able to observe.

I am very grateful to the Barlow family, whose kindness and generosity made it possible for me to have this valuable experience. Their encouragement and contributions to ensure the continued success of music and the arts are greatly appreciated.

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Thomas Fairholm

M y experience as an intern with the Barlow Endowment was deeply inspiring and informative.  I was able to encounter firsthand the ideas that comprise today’s contemporary musical landscape. In addition, I was able to learn from a front-row perspective what composers, conductors, and performers look for when evaluating a new piece of music.

I was particularly struck by the types of questions that the judges would ask one another to determine the merit of a work. I found myself asking the same questions of my own music, and in the process was able to reevaluate my purpose as a composer. This has given me a greater commitment to honing my personal technique and communicating with the highest artistic standards. It also gives me a framework by which I can measure my progress as I work to develop my abilities.

The judges, a diverse group of composers and conductors, were generous, respectful, and insightful. I appreciated their friendliness as well as their advice concerning educational goals and potential career paths. I feel more prepared to consider graduate studies and understand better what I should be focusing on during my undergraduate experience. I feel that I have a clearer vision of my potential trajectory as an artist.

I’ve come away from my experience at the Barlow Endowment with a deepened dedication to my craft as well as greater confidence to achieve my educational and artistic goals. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Barlow family for making this experience possible.

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Clark Evans

I am thankful for the opportunity I was given to be a small part of this year’s Barlow Commission. It was educational to be exposed to the music of hundreds of composers and to hear the feedback and opinions of highly regarded music professionals. I now understand how to present my own music professionally and how valuable it is to have a strong network with other composers, performers, and ensembles. As my network begins to grow it will lead to increased performance quality of my work and increased freedom of expression in my composition.

By observing the judges, I feel that I have come to understand myself better. The mission of the Barlow Endowment and the intentions of each of the commissioning ensembles helped shape my view of new music: it embraces what makes us all human simultaneously with what humanity cannot understand, and then inspires us to seek growth in order to increase understanding. It is true artistic expression, and I have felt the pull to better myself. I want to have an impact through my music—to facilitate a connection between performer and listener, to create memorable experiences, and to be an inspiration to those who come into contact with my music. I feel my compositional voice has been refined, and I have greater confidence in my abilities to achieve these goals.

I am so grateful to the Barlow family. Thank you for establishing such an incredible culture of celebrating artistic expression. I know countless lives have been changed for good in the past 35 years, and I look forward to witnessing the future of music composition. Additionally, thank you for investing in me. It was an honor to be involved this year; it was an experience I will not soon forget.

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Ryan Miller

T his opportunity to be an intern for the Barlow endowment has been an invaluable experience! The things I have learned from y observations has given me perspective on my future as a composer. I learned many things ranging from how to create an appealing score and how professional musicians evaluate music they come across, to how to better network among musicians and composers to get pieces performed. I am now more excited and confident in my future and in going to graduate school.

As I observed the judging process, I learned how composers and performers evaluate recordings and scores. I know it is important, of course, to not only provide everything that is requested, but it is also important to develop your own voice and write creatively. No one wants to listen to music that sounds like someone else’s voice. I believe this will be of great help to me as I apply to graduate schools and as I apply to contests in the future.

Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of this internship was having the opportunity to talk to professional composers about graduate school and life as a musician. We talked about what graduate schools look for in an applicant, how I should focus my studies as an undergraduate to prepare me for the future, how to balance work and life and finances as a professional musician, and many more things. This has given me more direction and confidence for these next few years in my life as I prepare to go to graduate school.

I would like to thank the Barlow family for providing this experience. I would highly recommend it to any aspiring composer. Thank you so much for this opportunity.