Fort McMurray pianist wins provincial music creation competition



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A girl from Fort McMurray has won a provincial songwriting contest after winning an honorable mention at the same contest last year.

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Cadence Irmen, 11, won for her original piece, “Forest Song” in the pre-junior category of the Alberta Piano Teachers Association (APTA) Creative Music Writing Competition. The competition took place in Red Deer on September 24.

“It’s pretty exciting. I’m glad I got to win it and my song won, and I’m glad I got to perform it too,” Irmen said in an interview.”

Irmen said she wrote the song in about a week in January 2022. It started when she was experimenting with chords and notes on the piano. She came across a model she liked and started thinking about the lyrics. The notes made her think of exploring a forest, which she decided would be the theme of the song.

“I thought it went really well, so I went ahead and made a song out of it,” Irmen said.

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Irmen said she enjoys composing different music and hopes to become a composer when she grows up. She hopes to have her songs published one day.

An email from Irmen’s piano teacher, Jennifer Dahl of Music with Jennifer, says APTA holds the competition each year with a different judge. This year’s judge was Cheryl Cooney, Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre. Dahl said Cooney said Forest Song had “a good echo effect and good interaction between voice and piano”.

“I love being able to use my imagination,” Irmen said. “I like to compose my own songs and when there are words, I like to find the ones that rhyme and the ones that go well with the music, and everything sounds so good.”

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