World-renowned composer’s piece created just for MHSA set for Saturday world premiere

100 singers, instrumentalists to perform piece Saturday, June 1 at 7 p.m. at Marquette’s Varsity Theatre

MILWAUKEE – One hundred student musicians from Milwaukee Public Schools’ Milwaukee High School of the Arts will perform Saturday in the world premiere of a piece composed especially for the school by world-renowned composer Geoffrey Gordon.

The performance of Four Preludes is set for Saturday, June 1 at 7 p.m. at Marquette University’s Varsity Theatre, 1326 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee 53233. Tickets will be available at the door; adult tickets are $6, student tickets are $4. Media interested in attending a Friday rehearsal should contact Tony Tagliavia, MPS media manager.

Composer Geoffrey Gordon

Composer Geoffrey Gordon (photo courtesy Composers and Schools in Concert)

Gordon created the piece through Composers and Schools in Concert, which partners with professional composers and youth music educators, grades 9 to 12, to offer innovative music education through composer workshops and commission.

Milwaukee High School of the Arts was selected for the honor of working with Gordon based upon recommendations from state music officials.

Senior singer Shyneice Sanders said the students are excited to be performing a piece created just for their school.

“Not a lot of schools can say that,” Sanders said.

Students will perform under the direction of MHSA Orchestra Director Pablo Amaya III and Director of Vocal Music Raymond Roberts.

“It’s truly an honor, Roberts said. “It certainly indicates that we have great students to work with and that people recognize excellent music-making at the high school level when they see it. We’re truly grateful for the opportunity.”

Milwaukee Public Schools is Wisconsin’s largest school district, serving more than 78,000 students in more than 160 schools across the city. MPS is home to the Milwaukee region’s two best high schools according to the Washington Post and three of state’s 25 best high schools according to U.S. News and World Report. In the past year, Milwaukee Public Schools posted a growing graduation rate 14 points higher than the rate for 2000. More MPS news is available at