Goodwin Wins Composer Competition | Coppell Citizens' Advocate | April 29, 2016
Coppell High School student Isabel Goodwin was one of 12 winners of the Sara and Ernest Butler Texas Young Composers Competition and Concert. Each composer will hear his or her winning original composition played by the Austin Symphony on June 18, and will receive a scholarship.
The Austin Symphony Orchestra's competition is open to students 18 years and younger who submit full, original orchestral compositions five to seven minutes in length. This year, 31 compositions were submitted from students across the state. Entries were made anonymous by ASO staff, evaluated, and ranked by a panel of composers and publishers from Ars Nova Music.
The 12 winning composers this year represent 11 cities from across Texas-- Austin, Cedar Park, College Station, Coppell, Dallas, Houston, Kennedale, Plano, Richardson, and The Woodlands. Goodwin's composition, Internal Armageddon, won a $500 scholarship.
"In answer to when I got the idea for the piece would be difficult, because it came to me in pieces throughout the year. I would create one melody, write another countermelody to fit around it, and then sometimes scratch out the original melody. I wrote many themes that I didn't end up using," said Goodwin. "One of the main melodies, though, came from my sister, when she listened to a countermelody I'd written. She hummed a melody to fit within it, and it ended up being one of the main themes of the piece."
"I gave the piece the name 'Internal Armageddon' because it reminded me, and many others that listened to it, of a journey or a choice that had to be made. When the listener first hears it, it sounds light-hearted, but a darker, more disturbed melody hides below the bounding sixteenth notes. In many ways, it reminds me of my own mind, and the way I am able to hide any dark thoughts with a cheerful front," said Goodwin.
"In general, this was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, mentally. Being a bassoon player only, I don't know a lot about every other instrument in the orchestra or their ranges and limitations. I had to do a lot of research and ask a lot of people for help. Despite the difficulty, it was always fun to do, and I hope to create more full-orchestra compositions, possibly as a job someday," said Goodwin.
Scholarships for the winners are available courtesy of a $1 million Endowment gift made by Sarah and Ernest Butler. Their gift also ensures the program's longevity to groom the future generations of classical composers.
"It is very difficult for young composers to have their compositions played by a professional orchestra," said ASO Executive Director Anthony Corroa. "It is our hope that the Austin Symphony's Young Composers Competition and Concert will continue to encourage young Texas composers and nurture future masterpieces."
Goodwin, 15, has been playing bassoon for 3.5 years, since sixth grade, with the Ted Polk Band in Carrolton, then Coppell Middle School North Band, which, under the guidance of Jeremy Lindquist, was named 2015-2016 TMEA State Honor Band. Currently a freshman at Coppell High School, she continues to study bassoon with private lessons teacher Sara McCallum.
Goodwin was selected for Honor Region Band in December 2015 as a bassoon soloist.
She said she enjoys arranging and composing music for her friends. Isabel is self-taught in arranging and composing, having done so for two years. She is the daughter of Bobby Goodwin and Denise Burgos.
Tickets for the Texas Young Composers Concert are available at the Austin Symphony Box Office, 512-476-6064 or www.austinsymphony.org. The performance will be held at The Long Center for Performing Arts in Austin on June 18. General admission seats are $20 for adults and $8 for students. The performance is coproduced by the Long Center for the Performing Arts.