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Senior Anthony Wong composes song for Hall of Fame concert

Lauren Bruckstein, Staff Writer

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Each year, the SHS Orchestra, Choir, and Concert Bands perform a song together at the annual Hall of Fame Concert. This year’s (2017) song, Now I’m Free,  was written by SHS senior Anthony Wong, who participates in all three music ensembles — Orchestra, Choir, and Band.

Wong began his passion for writing music as a sophomore after being inspired by another student, 2015 graduate Abbey Lantz. Wong played the cello in Lantz’s song “The Emergence,” which was played at the 2015 Hall of Fame Concert.

“It was so inspiring to hear over two hundred kids cooperate and play in complete harmony.” said Wong. He wanted to create Now I’m Free to “recreate the harmony and inspiration Abbey Lantz gave me [Wong].”

Creating a song for all three ensembles was a long process. Wong began creating Now I’m Free the summer of 2016. “I worked on it sporadically. Sometimes I’d put it off for a few weeks at a time and then do it for a whole day,” said Wong. He was able to finish creating Now I’m Free about a month into the 2016-17 school year.

“I tried to make the song good for everyone. There are classical influences, but it also has a pop feel,” said Wong, “I wanted to make this song to give everyone in band, choir, and orchestra a common goal and something to work together for.”

Wong shared the steps he took toward composing such a large piece. “I brainstormed while messing around on my  piano until I got an idea in my head. I made a melody and chords, wanting to create a memorable tune.” said Wong.

Wong continued to write the basic structure of his song on paper. He then wrote out the notes on Sibelius, one of the most popular music notation softwares in the world. The string and choir sections were written first, following with the band’s part.

“Learning about every instrument and how they work was the most challenging thing. They all have different ranges and I had to ask around to see what was comfortable for different people to do,” Wong said, “It helps that I play several instruments, so I was comfortable with a good amount of them.”

Wong had previous experience writing and conducting music, writing the song Winter Season  for the Stroudsburg Junior High School Orchestra. “Ever since then, I regularly composed pieces, several of which have been performed publicly. I believe the more you write music, the better you get at it,” said Wong.

Wong plans to minor in music at Washington and Lee University, while majoring in either pharmacy or neuroscience.

“My favorite part about making the song was allowing me to exercise everything I’ve learned about music theory and history and turn it into an actual song, ” said Wong. “It’s great I had a chance to apply all this studying to a real application.”
To hear the ensembles perform Now I’m Free as well as other songs, attend the upcoming Hall of Fame concert! It will be held in the Stroudsburg High School auditorium on May 31.

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11 Comments

11 Responses to “Senior Anthony Wong composes song for Hall of Fame concert”

  1. Lucas Wesselius on May 11th, 2017 10:23 AM

    It’s always amazing to see how different studies take to different studies and pursue their passions. I look forward to hearing what is sure to be an amazing concert!

    [Reply]

  2. Zaritza Valdez on May 11th, 2017 10:47 AM

    I think its intimidating how Anthony Wong created a song with all instruments even the choir in just the summer!!!

    [Reply]

  3. Taylor Miller on May 11th, 2017 10:53 AM

    I look forward to seeing this a the concert later in the month because i think everyone is going to be speechless. Congrats to Anthony for such an amazing accomplishment.

    [Reply]

  4. Julia Noonan on May 12th, 2017 8:08 AM

    I believe this is an awesome accomplishment for Anthony and I look forward to seeing this in concert

    [Reply]

  5. Daniel Varghese on May 12th, 2017 8:09 AM

    I very much like how the song feels, everything about this song makes me think about what will happen after we graduate. Even though I may still have year left of high school, I still think it’s great that we got a song that has never been heard by anyone else

    [Reply]

  6. Lauren Perez on May 12th, 2017 10:22 AM

    I would have to say that Anthony has not only written a great piece but also is an extremely talented musician. I have the pleasure of knowing Antony and singing his piece and you can truly his personality come trough in his work and that has to be the coolest thing about this amazing work of art.

    [Reply]

  7. Samad Khan on May 12th, 2017 12:47 PM

    i am thi goat

    [Reply]

  8. Nylah Safforld on May 30th, 2017 10:17 AM

    I am excited to hear what Anthony has composed for this concert. I know it will be good. I am really looking forward to this.

    [Reply]

  9. Derick Ducosse on June 2nd, 2017 1:13 PM

    The song sounded great and Wong’s conducting was perfect. It turned out well for us and the audience. It’s amazing to see a student put so much work into music to make such a beautiful piece.

    [Reply]

  10. Emily Schwartz on June 2nd, 2017 1:14 PM

    This piece was an incredible thing to be apart of!! Anthony did an amazing job composing it.

    [Reply]

  11. Andrew Bunker on June 6th, 2017 1:01 PM

    i heard this was a great peace sadly i was not able to witness this for myself but i heard everybody loved it.

    [Reply]

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Senior Anthony Wong composes song for Hall of Fame concert