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Joel Tan: Reflection on Young Composers Forum 2023



"I am very fortunate to have attended this programme by the Composers Society of Singapore and to have my music performed and commented on by the musicians of weird aftertaste. This opportunity gave me a glimpse of what it was like to work with professional musicians in the scene and taught me many valuable lessons on communication and collaborating with other musicians. My mentor, Dr John Sharpley was helpful and encouraging with my music, often giving me advice apart from technicalities relating to composition like understanding the people that perform our music and different schools of thought regarding how to listen to music. The administrative team, workshop presenters, and my fellow participants also made the multiple workshops and events engaging and enjoyable. I gained much advice and knowledge from these sessions across the period of the programme, and of course many new friends. Overall, I am extremely grateful to everyone that made this event possible, and it is a significant experience in my growth as a student composer. Thank you to all of you!"


The 2nd edition of CSS’ Young Composers Forum took place from October 2023 to March 2024. Under the tutelage of senior CSS composers Joyce Koh, John Sharpley and Yuting Tan, 9 young composers were selected to undergo a 6-month creative period of meet-the-musician sessions, lectures, individual lessons and workshop sessions, in order to develop new pieces for local new music collective Weird Aftertaste. YCF 2023 culminated in a final concert at the Singapore Composers Festival 2024, which took place on 23 March 2024.

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