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Senior Jack McMahon’s composition, “Free Flying,” has been selected as a featured work for the Electronic Music Composition Showcase at the NYSSMA Winter Conference in Rochester, New York, which runs November 29 through December 2, 2018. The honor is a tribute to McMahon’s hard work and talent as well as the growing Music Technology program at John Jay High School.
“Jack is a fantastic student and has honed his skills in composition over the years with great success,” said Amy Geiger, music technology teacher at John Jay High School. “His work was one of eight selected out of hundreds of submissions. I am so proud of Jack and his outstanding accomplishment!"
“Making music is fun," said McMahon, a four-year student in John Jay High School’s music technology track. "Last year my friends made a computer game and I created the sound track." He’s also taking Mobile App and Game Development this year and plans to study computer science in college and minor in music technology.
The hub of the music technology program is room G112, a vaulted classroom which houses eighteen iMac workstations and a recording sound booth.
Jack McMahon and several other Advanced Music Technology students came in this past summer to help the Technology Department set up new iMacs and M-Audio Code 61 keyboard controllers as well as install new versions of Finale and other compositional software programs.
“Students are able to work with Abelton Live, Logix Pro X, and our updated ear-training software, Musition and Auralia. ProTools is also available for students to use in our recording sound booth, where students can sing and play acoustic or electronic instruments in a live-recording setting,” said Geiger.
“The lab was also equipped with new multimedia presentation technologies which will allow finished compositions to be played to the entire class in production quality sound,” said Chris Nelson, Director of Technology.
The next improvement on the horizon is new audio monitoring equipment—an upgrade funded by the Forever Molly and Gregory Fund under the KL Foundation.
Jack McMahon’s winning composition will be performed at the NYSSMA Winter Conference. He and the other spotlighted composers will attend the Young Composer Seminar with Roshanne Etezady, the Composer-in-Residence, as well as participate in Composition Coaching Workshops.
“Free Flying” will also be performed closer to home—at John Jay High School on Tuesday, January 22, at 7:00 p.m.—at the district’s first ever Music Technology Concert.
"I call this musical piece "Free Flying" because of its fast paced and excited mood," said Jack McMahon. " I wrote this composition in B major with a 164 bpm. The piece starts off with a slow melody that is an incomplete version of the main melody of the piece played on a bell piano. Using an auto filter, I faded in an arpeggio consisting of eighth notes with the same instrument."