The Sound of Music ... From S. Korea to Lake Shore
Technology has brought instruction from around the world to students at Lake Shore High School. Most recently, Beginner Music Theory students had a Compositional Masterclass with a guest composer from Korea. Matthew Jihoon Pellegrino is an award-winning composer, Fulbright researcher, and devoted educator, says LSHS music teacher Deanna Civilette. His eclectic music background includes Western classical music and traditional Korean music, as well as a brief stint in a metal band. He is currently working on his Fulbright Research Grant, studying traditional music in South Korea.
To prepare for their Masterclass, students Hannah Dunmire (senior), Melissa Sperduti (senior) and Samuel Eschberger (junior) were asked to compose an Art song. “This involved choosing a poem and setting the text to music. They composed using their knowledge of music theory, a variety of compositional devices, and text painting,” says Miss Civilette. “Matthew went through each of the students' Art songs and provided specific feedback. Our question-and-answer session included conversation about his musical influences, composing techniques, and the Gayageum (a traditional Korean plucked instrument).”
Mr. Pellegrino’s comments were extremely helpful, says Melissa Sperduti, noting that "His feedback was very detailed and helpful for all of our compositions."
"Mr. Pellegrino helped us learn how to creatively simplify our thoughts when we tend to overthink and complicate,” adds Hannah Dunmire.
The experience also gave the students a look at the studies and opportunities in a music career. In addition to his Fulbright grant, Mr. Pellegrino is the recipient of a Dean's Doctor Fellowship, the P. Bruce Blair Award in Composition, and the Lee Mitchell Endowed Memorial Scholarship at Peabody, and the Hillman Music Scholarship and Price Oboe Scholarship at Fredonia. He has served as a Faculty Associate at Peabody Conservatory for the Music Theory department, and is an instructor of oboe, flute, and saxophone at the Park School of Baltimore.