Students in the Massapequa High School orchestra regularly play music by famous composers, but it’s rare for them to perform a piece written by one of their peers. That was the case this year, as they learned a composition by senior Adriana Kamor, who started writing original music in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kamor said that composing was her way of staying connected to music when schools closed down in March 2020. She used a program called Note Flight, which was recommended by her teacher, Marjorie Spagnuolo, to create new arrangements of pop songs she likes. Soon after, Kamor began crafting original pieces.
She has three compositions in the process of being copyrighted. “Chaos and Calamity” is a full orchestral piece, “Last Attacker” is a cello duet and “Sunrise After Sunset” is for a quartet. All three pieces, she said, reflect her emotions going through pandemic, and each have a different tempo and tone.
The high school orchestra began learning “Chaos and Calamity” in December. After several rehearsals, the roughly 90-student ensemble performed it in the auditorium for a professional recording, with Kamor conducting. The orchestra played it again at the senior awards ceremony.
Kamor said that creating music on computer software produces a digitized version of the song, so the first time she heard her classmates play the 2 minute, 10 second song live was an amazing experience and really brought her creation to life.
“I was really excited to have a full orchestra,” she said. “It felt surreal. I was really ecstatic that everyone was into the piece and put in their full effort.”
Kamor, who plays the cello, got her start in fourth grade at Unqua Elementary School. She said she decided to join the orchestra because she felt drawn to string instruments and the wide range of sounds that they produce. Kamor credits her elementary orchestra teacher, Alison Pearl, with guiding her to the cello. Since then, she has learned under the tutelage of Katherine Cahalan, Jeremy Einhart and Spagnuolo, and is grateful for the opportunities she has had to grow as a musician in Massapequa.
Outside of school, Kamor has played with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra. In college, she will study computer science at Case Western Reserve University, but still wants to find a way to keep music in her life because that is her creative outlet.
-Submitted by the Massapequa School District