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Updated: May 30

Speyer Legacy School, New York, NY Division II

Problem 3: Classics… (Name Here): The Musical Production

Hans Christen Anderson once proclaimed that when words fail, music speaks. Never was that more apparent than with this team’s musical solution. Joy, anger, power, frustration, and sorrow were interpreted through the chords, melodies, and lyrics of team composer Lizzie O’Rourke.

From start to finish, the judges were held captive by her guitar skills and team member voices as they delivered this 100% original score to interpret the life and struggles of Dr. Edward Jenner, the creator of the vaccine. The duet between Dr. Jenner and a skeptical mother generated tension and resolve through simultaneously layered melodies that climaxed at a peak dynamic level before transitioning into a sobering ballad. The room was completely silent as the ghost of the child sang to his skeptical mother. This melancholy moment was ironically captured through a major key, a huge risk as most composers choose minor keys and chords for sad moments. Lizzie made this risk work by melding the risky key with softer dynamics and flawless guitar technique.

We witnessed nothing more emotional than this performance. The most impressive aspect is not that this music was composed by a middle school student, but that it was composed by a middle school student in just 4 days! However, a song is nothing without performers to bring it life. This creative musical production was truly a team effort.

Check out the full performance...

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Samson Schaefer

Honeoye Falls - Lima Manor School, NY

Primary Problem - Tri-Cycle Transport

Losing five of your team members so that you are down to a one-man band is hard for any team. But how about if you are only 7 years old and this is your first World Finals?

This young OMer showed tremendous poise and talent when performing in front of a packed house as a one man show. He wowed the audience with his courage, humor, problem-solving, and adaptability.

There was not a dry eye in the house as he performed every character in the skit. He was brave and did such a good job!

He embodies the OM spirit and we can see this is just the beginning of a long and creative Odyssey.

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Creative Opportunities Unlimited (COU) is pleased to announce two new scholarships for students planning to attend institutions of higher learning next year, either continuing or new students. The Harold Kurtz Scholarship Odyssey offers two $555.00 scholarships to Odyssey of the Mind participants (current or prior). One scholarship will be awarded to an Omer who has competed in Problem 5, and one scholarship will be awarded to an Omer who plans to pursue a degree in the field of education.

Applications are now open and the deadline to submit an application has been extended from April 15th to April 30th. Details are available on the COU Scholarships & Grants page, then scroll down to The Harold Kurtz Scholarship Odyssey.

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