Playground Ensemble

Young Composers Kickstarter!!

Young people of all backgrounds use non-traditional methods to compose new chamber music performed and recorded by The Playground.

We are asking you to support the growth and expansion of our Young Composers program at Edgewater Elementary and Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy.

Click here to support this project!

Imagine, if you will, a class of 20 third graders collaborating and communicating to write a story, then articulating their ideas musically with the support of professional musicians. These young composers are the recognized for their creative work in a recorded public performance.

This is Young Composers- an opportunity for youth to create music regardless of previous experience, to have a voice in an art form that is too often viewed as exclusive. The Young Composers Program empowers students to think creatively, to collaborate, and to communicate. See the Fox31 news feature on this program.

Edgewater Elementary is a Title 1 Jefferson County public school that serves approximately 480 students: 97% are on free/reduced lunch. The Playground and classroom teacher Karissa Swanson are collaborating for the third consecutive year to bring music composition to the general music classroom at Edgewater Elementary. This year the plan is to add a new third grade class while continuing to serve the musical needs of the 4th graders from last year’s program.

This work (see video below), performed in 2014 by the third grade students, was a fantastic showcase of their music, story, acting, and artwork.

Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy is a one-of-a-kind public k-12 arts magnet school in Denver Public Schools. KCAA was created with the mission of bringing meaningful and transformative arts education and integration to a population of underprivileged and underserved students on Denver’s west side. With a free and reduced lunch rate of more than 85%, KCAA accepts students not through audition or portfolio review, but rather based on interest; meaning that students without previous access to arts education can still be exposed to the school’s rich offerings in music, drama, dance, visual and digital media arts, as well as a unique arts-based Career and Technical Education program. Now in its 6th year KCAA will graduate its first class of seniors in the spring, all of whom exemplify the school’s core values: Imagine and Achieve.

This is the Playground’s 2nd year at KCAA and we will be serving two groups of young composers; a first year group and a group returning from our program last year. We are very excited to see what new musical and mentoring ideas come from this expansion of the program at KCAA.

Click here to support this project!