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High School Junior Shines in Statewide Composition Contest

  • Music


Simon Cohen, Year 12, is the only student from a Chicago school to place in the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) 2015-16 Student Composition Contest! He took third place in the Vocal Ensemble category with his composition “Love’s Philosophy”.

ILMEA provides opportunities for students to create and compose music in addition to performing and responding to music. This contest was created to celebrate Illinois students’ achievements in composition and offer them high-quality feedback and guidance as they continue on in composition. Original works, arrangements and remixes were submitted by students from junior high schools and high schools throughout the state, and were judged by a panel of active composers and professional musicians.

Simon is an accomplished musician who also wrote an original composition that premiered at Nord Anglia Education’s 2015 Global Orchestra at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York. At British International School of Chicago’s South Loop campus, Simon leads and arranges music for the Senior Jazz Band and serves as a mentor in composition for peers. He has also created lesson plans for a local school without an arts program. Simon recently performed at an event showcasing The Juilliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Programme, a collaboration with The Juilliard School, a world leader in performing arts education. The collaboration provides students at British International School of Chicago with innovative performing arts curriculum curated by Juilliard in collaboration with Nord Anglia Education, as well as access to Juilliard-affiliated teaching artists in the classroom and in private music lessons.

The student composers will be honored at an awards ceremony on January 30, 2016, as part of the Illinois Music Education Conference in Peoria, Illinois. Begun as a one-day clinic for instrumental music education, the Illinois Music Education Conference has grown to a four-day event covering all genres of music education. Over 10,000 people will attend professional development clinics, listen to concerts and take part in the best of professional networking over the course of the event. Please visit for more details.

The contest is sponsored by PreSonus and Ableton, providing first place winners with computer programs in composition, and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, providing scholarships for all winners.