Updated: May 30, 2022
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...