Joseph Elliott Named MYSO John Downey Creation Project Fellow

Joseph Elliott Named MYSO John Downey Creation Project Fellow
Posted on 02/25/2019
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Joseph Elliott, Junior at Nathan Hale High School was named MYSO John Downey Creation Project Fellow for his music composition: Tango for Strings.  The composition had a world premier when it was performed on February 24, 2019, in Shattuck Auditorium at Carroll University by Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) Sinfonia.

Tango for Strings begins with a mysterious quiet section which leads into a loud main melody.  After the main melody there is a long, rhythmically-complex development section which includes a segment where the entire orchestra plays pizzicato. The piece ends with a short recapitulation of the main melody,” explains Elliott.

Steven Rindt, a retired orchestra teacher from the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District, directs the Sinfonia.  “I was Joey’s music teacher when he started playing violin in first grade at Hoover Elementary School. I am very proud of how he’s grown as a musician,” says Rindt. “It was wonderful to perform a piece that he composed.”

While at Frank Lloyd Wright Intermediate School, Elliott studied violin and cello with Mary Pat Michels, and is now taking violin and viola lessons in her private studio. Elliott is also in the Nathan Hale High School Orchestra which is directed by Cathy Kolb. Both Kolb and Michels are on the teaching staff at MYSO working with the
Progressions program, a high impact strings program for city of Milwaukee students in grades 3-5 that received the Arts and Humanities Award from the White House in 2017.

“Joey is a wonderful example of our music education program and how it extends to the community,” says Michels, “We work hard to help our students develop their talents and achieve their dreams.” Elliott intends to major in music education when he goes to college in the fall of 2020. He is the son of Mike Elliott, principal of Hoover Elementary School, and Lisa Elliott, superintendent of the Greenfield School District.