Nine-year-old beats year 12 students to win schools’ jazz competition
Flynn Poppleton is already an accomplished musician, spending up to an hour each day practising. But the 12-year-old can now add beating 18-year-olds to his list of accomplishments after winning the International Jazz Day composition event.
Naomi Nogawa-Lewy, a year four student at Summer Hill Public School, was equally chuffed. The judge, renowned American jazz musician Herbie Hancock, was so taken by her entry he declared her a joint winner of the competition open to kindergarten to year 12 students nationwide.
When Flynn’s mother told him he’d won, he thought she was joking, but as the news finally sank in, it was a “dream coming to life,” he said.
Music has been a large part of Flynn’s life, having joined the Newtown Public School band in kindergarten – playing the drums and the trumpet. This award has allowed the youngster to play and share his love of music with jazz musician, James Morrison, one of Flynn’s idols.
Naomi, who sings and plays the violin and recorder, has loved music “since I was born,” the nine-year-old said.
She composed her winning entry in two weeks, saying the song “just came out”. While she said the win has now sunk in, the experience has been “unbelievable”.
Morrison and the NSW Department of Education Arts Unit created the inaugural competition to provide a “creative and fun” opportunity for students to compose a melody that could be used as a theme for this year’s International Jazz Day, Mr Morrison said.
Flynn and Naomi’s melodies have been arranged into a piece that will be premiered by the NSW Public Schools Jazz Orchestra at the International Jazz Day opening ceremony in Melbourne on April 30.
The students have also received a bound copy of the score marked with their names.
“I’ll listen to it over and over again,” Naomi said.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald