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Middle School Band Students Skype with Composer Michael Story

Middle School Band Students Skype with Composer Michael Story

“Music is the one gift that makes us human” – a direct quote from composer Michael Story as he skyped with the 7th/8th grade band at ArtSpace on December 1st.  Story is a well-respected composer of elementary and middle school band charts.  The ArtSpace band is playing his arrangement, “Holiday Carol Collage” at the winter concert this week.

During the Skype interview students asked Mr. Story a plethora of questions including:

  • What inspired you to become a composer?
  • What do you consider your biggest success?
  • Do you have any tips about creating a career in music?


The band members listened as “Mike” answered with very clear and thoughtful responses.  He shared his experiences as a young piano player with his mother as his teacher. Her inspiration led him to choose to play the trumpet as well.  Mike admits that his middle school band was not very good, and almost dissuaded him from continuing with music.  However, his high school band opened up the possibilities of what a great music program and director can do for a young musician.

During his sophomore year he became very curious about the possibility of writing music.  There are so many fields to go into when pursuing a music career, to Mike, composing was his niche.  Mike believes that film music composers are the new classical writers of our time, and really enjoys listening to the greats like John Williams and Howard Shore.  The students were also pleased to learn that Mike enjoys the music of the Red Hot Chili Peppers as well!  He is an appreciator of all different genres, and really encouraged ArtSpace students to listen to as much music as possible – artists who play the instrument they study, as well as others.

IMG_20151201_104616936When asked if he still gets nervous before performances, Mike responded, “Oh yeah. You’re nervous because you care.” ArtSpace music teacher Meg Boerner believes these words have resonated with the band as they prepare for their own concerts this Wednesday.  The students were grateful for the opportunity to meet and gain advice from a successful music composer, someone who generously donated of his time and revealed himself to be not only a remarkably accomplished artist, but a friendly, relatable person.