Posted in Colchester High School, General, Programs, Student Spotlight

CSD Award-Winning Composer Attracting Considerable Acclaim

The National Association for Music Educators (NAfME) has selected Colchester High School senior Jacob Morton-Black’s composition “Chapter 1, Bar 60” for string quartet as one of fourteen award-winning pieces. As a result, Jacob participated in a forum and panel discussion of young composers, and his composition was performed at the NAfME Eastern Division Conference in Hartford, Connecticut, on April 5.

(Jacob was also on the student team in the recent sixth-annual Battle of the Brains competition; if you missed that article and video, you can access it here.)

CHS's Jacob Morton-Black
CHS’s Jacob Morton-Black

He also applied for a composition scholarship through the Vermont Music Educators Association’s All-State Festival, and “Chapter 1, Bar 60” was selected for one of three scholarships.

The piece, which was composed over a two-week period as part of the String Quartet Project in collaboration with the Burlington Ensemble, includes parts for a cello, a viola, and two violins. The Burlington Ensemble performed the piece on April 6 at College Street Congregational Church, and the piece will also be performed as part of the Town of Colchester’s 250th anniversary celebration on May 31 beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the CHS gymnasium.

Jacob, who plans to pursue higher education in music composition and conducting, often draws inspiration from the work of Czech composer Antonín Dvořák, particularly when writing quartets. “Every piece is unique in its creation process, but they all start with a nugget—and that nugget can come at any time,” he said.

Please join us in congratulating him!

Aspiring musicians abound throughout your school district. Jacob and other fellow CHS musicians also recently participated in the New England Music Festival—a prestigious opportunity to perform with New England’s best high school musicians under the direction of nationally recognized directors and master conductors. Along with Jacob for this opportunity were Lauren Zwonik, Ian Flores, Isabella Bertoni, Andrea Trudeau, and Teremy Garen.

Lauren Zwonik and Jacob Morton-Black
Lauren Zwonik and Jacob Morton-Black
Back: Ian Flores Front, from left to right: Andrea Trudeau, Isabella Bertoni,  and  Teremy Garen
Back: Ian Flores
Front, from left to right: Andrea Trudeau, Isabella Bertoni, and Teremy Garen

At Colchester Middle School, more than sixty students are involved in the April 18 and April 19 production of Willy Wonka Junior, which will begin at 7:00 p.m. on both nights in the community theater at Colchester High School. The students’ extensive preparations for this musical production include memorizing lines, singing, and creating artistic sets. Eighth grader Sam Dickin will play Willy Wonka, seventh grader Ethan Goedken will portray young Charlie Bucket, and eighth grader Mario Houle will play the role of Grandpa Joe. “I am so proud of how hard the students have worked on this,” said Emily Desautels, CMS band and musical director. “They’ve been rehearsing for the past five months after school … they give it so much energy and dedication. They’re all very excited to perform for the Colchester community.”

For more information about the upcoming Willy Wonka Junior production, please contact Emily Desautels at (802) 264-5800 or e-mail her at

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