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Composition Students Create New Music for ‘Spring Awakening’

15 November 2018

Third year composition students Derri Joseph Lewis and Kirsten Evans created new music for the College’s sell-out production of Spring Awakening, a reinterpretation of the controversial play by Franz Wederkind.

The play, dealing with all the big questions in life – sex, morality and religion – gives plenty of material to create a new musical score.

Derri and Kirsten explained that they had to collaborate closely with actors, musicians, stage managers, theatre and costume designers from across the College; learning from one another to coordinate skills to bring the director, Caroline Byrne’s vision to life.

“Everyone is playing their own instrument – be it lighting, music, acting – for one cohesive piece of music, so we all have to coordinate together.” said Derri.
“It’s very good preparation for our careers. In training we are often working to own agenda, but this trains us in the demands of a professional production – it’s as real as it gets.”

Strong communication skills and improvisation are crucial to share musical ideas.

Kirsten explained “Because we were working with others who don’t study music, it meant we had to use other skills we’d learned from modules like our Outreach projects, to make sure we could communicate most effectively with the actors and director to create the best music for the play.”

Derri continued, “The audience reacted as we hoped and then some! We all celebrated after- it feels electric to share all the hard work with the audience, and learn directly from them what really worked and what we would do differently to improve it further next time.”

The featured image shows actor Meryn Williams-Davies, credit. Kirsten McTernan