Student Composer Showcase: Susie Francy

Feb 2, 2015

Susie Francy is a junior at Leland and Gray and February’s Student Composer Showcase. Her composition, called “Apollo’s Medley,” is about the transition from day to night.

“During the day, all the evils and miseries of mankind happen, and all that is musically minor occurs,” Susie describes. “As time passes, however, the sun slowly starts to sink into the mountains. This sunset is majestic and regal, only able to be performed by the equally majestic Apollo, God of the sun. Suddenly, all sunlight is gone. The stars reveal themselves, setting the stage for all that is peaceful and fantastical to take place. Finally, we end with a suggestion of sunrise, the glorious awakening. The stars have fallen asleep, but the sun has not quite awakened yet ... one last moment of pure glory.”

Susie says she got interested in music when she received a toy keyboard at the age of seven. “I just really enjoyed it. Once I started playing music more, it just became my biggest passion,” says Susie. She plays clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute, bass clarinet, ukulele, guitar, piano, trumpet and french horn.

She started composing in middle school as an assignment for her school band. “From there, I’ve just been exploring music composition and started arranging stuff on the radio. I made this one really big arrangement for a big concert band and it spiraled from there,” she says.

Susie sits with in rehearsal with musicians who will be performing "Apollo's Medley" in concert.
Credit Music Composition Online Mentoring Program

How did it feel to hear her original piece performed live? “Having live musicians play something that you’ve created using a mouse on the computer, hearing it for the first time with actual performers and being able to communicate with them – it was wonderful,” explains Susie.

"Having live musicians play something that you've created using a mouse on the computer, hearing it for the first time with actual performers and being able to communicate with them – it was wonderful."

Listen for her full conversation with VPR’s Kari Anderson and hear “Apollo’s Medley” performed live.

Instrumentalists, Inora Brass Quintet: Jason Whitcomb, Chris Rivers, trumpet; Joy Worland, horn; Lori Salimando-Porter, trombone; Bill Keck, tuba; with Cynthia Huard, piano.

Broadcast Monday, Feb. 2 at 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 4 at 8:30 a.m., Friday, Feb. 6 at 4 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 7 at 9 a.m.

VPR Classical's Student Composer Showcase is produced in collaboration with Music-COMP’s online mentoring program.