‘The more different things you try, the better the product you’ll get’

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  • <B>Katie Ewles: </B>Young composer will see two of her works performed in the coming weeks.<B> </B>

    Katie Ewles: Young composer will see two of her works performed in the coming weeks.
    (Photo by Mark Tatem)

  • Katie Ewles

    Katie Ewles

A chance idea took flight in music for young composer Katie Ewles — and the audience at the St John’s Church Youth Choir’s annual Christmas concert will get to hear it performed.

“I try to be an individual with music, because that’s where the best creativity comes from,” said Katie, 17, an IB2 student at Bermuda High School, who’s also having a piano piece performed in the church tomorrow by organist Oliver Grant.

Her Christmas carol, Panis Angelicus, reflects the wandering of her imagination, along with the excerpt on which it is based, by St Thomas Aquinas.

“It has a somewhat foreign sound to it,” she mused. “Almost Egyptian.”

The gem of the idea occurred to Katie while at the New York Summer Music Festival, under the instruction of Daniel Ott, where she also landed a solo singing role in the camp’s closing concert.

Back in Bermuda, her carol made the grade with choir director Marjorie Pettit, also Katie’s voice teacher.

“Music seemed to come to me out of nowhere,” the Paget teen said, recalling that when she was younger she “didn’t like doing what my piano teacher told me”.

Gradually learning the chords allowed her to experiment and find what she liked.

“I started experimenting when I was nine or ten, not too seriously — but for a long time I’d do it all by memory, until I learned the theory.”

A love of musical theatre, stage performance and Broadway gradually shifted to a focus on composition for Katie, also a senior soprano at the church. She plays guitar and ukulele — but the piano keeps a place of pride in the family home.

“I’m particularly interested in film music — the kind of music that tells a story,” she said, naming ‘Lion King’ composer Hans Zimmer as one of her favourites.

“Music is ideally what I’ll end up doing. I have some interest in business, but for me it’s really just about music.”

Katie wrote some original pieces for the BHS fantasy play ‘Under the Stones, but her latest, more serious work has three vocal parts with orchestral accompaniment. Tickets to the December 9 show are $30 for adults and $20 for students from the Bermuda Bookstore.

Summing up her philosophy, she said: “Make up your own rules. It’s the kind of field where the more different things you try, the better the product you’ll get — something original and unique.”

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Published Nov 24, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated Nov 24, 2012 at 12:36 am)

‘The more different things you try, the better the product you’ll get’

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