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Sadie Clutter
Second prize winner in Ages 15-18 division
Winning composition: Wish
How old were you when you started composing?
I wrote my first song when I was 7, but this competition was the first time I actually notated any of it!

What do you love most about composing music?
I love how expressive it is! I've never been great at putting my emotions into words, but composition provides me with another way to present how I am feeling or what's on my mind. Writing music has been a very helpful outlet for me these last few years.

What was your process/approach to composing your piece for YWCC?
I had originally written my composition before I knew about YWCC about a romance between the sun and the moon, so when I heard about the competition I thought that song would be a great one to use! I only had a vocal part and a piano part when I originally wrote the song, and at the time I barely had any experience with notation, so at first I just messed around in the notation software with the violin and cello parts to try and figure out what I liked. I took into account the different emotions I wanted certain parts of the song to evoke and what I would have to add to make it evoke those emotions. It took me a pretty long time to set any of the parts in stone, even the lyrics and piano melody I had already written, but I was eventually able to create something that I felt very proud of!

What is your favorite instrument to compose for and why?
My favorite instrument to compose for is vocals! Since I started notating for YWCC, I've worked on notating a few songs for my school's choir to sing, and from that I've discovered that I really enjoy creating harmonies and writing choir arrangements.

What is your advice to someone who is interested in composing a piece but does not know where to start?
My advice would be that your composition doesn't have to be perfect the first time. When I first started writing music, I'd get so hung up over the lyrics and melodies that I'd never be able to finish anything. I think the idea of perfection is a very common roadblock for people, especially for beginners. Your first works do not in any way have to be a masterpiece, what's important is that you are passionate in what you are writing, and that you are learning from it!
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