Student Composer Showcase: Matthew Skelly

Aug 12, 2017

Each month, VPR Classical highlights the work of young composers throughout the region for the Student Composer Showcase. Matt Skelly is a recent graduate from Harwood Union High School, and begins studies in Music at Boston University this fall.

Skelly has been writing music “not very seriously” since middle school; he began writing music in earnest during sophomore year of high school.

“It’s more rewarding when you put more of yourself into what you’re writing…it makes the payoff that much better.” It takes courage to put yourself into your music, Skelly says, and is the difference between writing music, and making art.

His work A Clear Midnight was based on a text by Walt Whitman which talks about the mourning process from both sides of life. The piece took on new meaning to Skelly and members of his community after the deaths of five of his fellow students last fall.

Matthew Skelly's work A Clear Midnight won this year's All State Composition Scholarship, and was performed by the Harwood Union Honors Choir at the VT All State Scholarship concert on Thursday, May 11, 2017.

The Student Composer Showcase is produced in collaboration with Music-COMP’s online composition mentoring program.

Hear Matthew Skelly's entire piece here: