Valley's Alive With the Sound of iPads | NBC Connecticut
Making The Grade

Making The Grade

Valley's Alive With the Sound of iPads

Seymour students and Waterbury Symphony collaborate on original piece with Waterbury.

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    Brandt Schneider, a teacher at Seymour High School, loves orchestral music -- not only the strings, the percussion, the woodwinds and the brass, but also the iPads.

    The local high school music theory class is embarking on a first-of-its-kind project using the wildly-popular tablet computer.

    At first, the class thought Schneider was joking, but now nine students are working with several members of the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra on I-Alchemy, an original piece.

    "They're really collaborating with us to create something that's really never been done before," Schneider said.

    Making the Grade: iPad Music Class

    [HAR] Making the Grade: iPad Music Class
    Music students at Seymour High School are using iPads to play music along with a symphony orchestra.
    (Published Thursday, May 10, 2012)

    WestConn Professor Douglas O'Grady composed I-Alchemy, which is written for a combination of acoustic instruments and electronic ones, specifically iPads. Each of the iPad student musicians plays a different instrument, represented through various apps.

    Morgan Hicks, a senior at the high school, is playing a violin of sorts.

    "It's really cool to hear everything together, but it's a lot different because we're not used to hearing all the extra sounds, so you have concentrate more," Hicks said.

    And professional musicians, including Kim Collins, are gladly playing along.

    "I think it's fantastic." the WSO's principal flutist said. "It's been a huge collaboration to get this happening and and I think everybody has really done a wonderful job."

    The project culminates this weekend with at the symphony's spring concert, where an audience of several hundreds music aficionados will experience the marriage of centuries of music history with today's cutting-edge technology.

    The concert is Saturday, May 12 at 8 p.m. at the Naugatuck Valley CC Fine Arts Center in Waterbury.