Lakota West teen’s musical composition played during school concert
BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - A Lakota West High School band member is more than just a percussionist now; he’s also a composer.
The Lakota Fall Concert was a big score for Lang Chen.
For the first time, the Lakota West junior and his classmates premiered Chen’s own composition, Arctic Exploration.
“I started writing this piece in February, and it was originally meant to be played by the orchestra software that I have,” Chen explained. “You know, it was cold outside in February, and I wanted to write an epic cinematic piece about the journey of traveling through the Arctic.”
Lakota West Band Director Andrew Carr recalls the moment Chen brought his work to him.
“Lang came to me, and he said, ‘Hey, I’ve been working on this piece. Would you like to take a look at it?’ and we did, and I was kind of impressed,” said Carr. “I was like, ‘Wow, this is a lot more thought out than a lot of times when student composers are looking to play me some music.”
His composition was not perfect.
Chen said after getting some feedback on it, he revised it.
“When I showed this piece originally to Mr. Carr, there were obviously some complaints about the ranges not being right and a lot of students couldn’t probably play it,” said Chen. “So, I got a lot of feedback from them and after revising it a few times, it’s somewhat playable now.”
Chen started playing the piano before he was four years old.
He has been a Lakota percussionist since 7th grade, and now, as a junior in high school, he can add composer to his ensemble of a resume.
Director Carr found time during class for students to practice Chen’s piece, which allowed the teen to fine-tune his composition.
Chen, to his surprise, found out a week before the Lakota Fall Concert they would be playing Arctic Exploration that night.
“Very impressed with Lang’s contribution to our program and I’m glad that he’s taken this on and very glad we were able to give him the space to share that with other people and that other people found that exciting as well,” said Carr.
Chen said it was an amazing experience to hear his piece being played.
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