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Fort McMurray pianist wins provincial creative music writing competition

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A Fort McMurray girl has won a provincial songwriting competition after winning an honourable mention in the same competition last year.

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Cadence Irmen, 11, won for her original piece, “Forest Song,” in the pre-junior category of the Alberta Piano Teachers Association’s (APTA) creative music writing competition. The competition was held in Red Deer on Sept. 24.

“It feels pretty exciting. I’m glad I could win it and that my song won, and I’m happy that I also got to perform it,” said Irmen in an interview. ”

Irmen said she wrote the song in roughly a week in January 2022. It began when she was experimenting with chords and notes on the piano. She came across a pattern she liked and started thinking about lyrics. The notes made her think of exploring a forest, which she decided would be the theme of the song.

“I thought it went really well, so I kept going with it and turned it into a song,” said Irmen.

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Irmen said she enjoys composing different music and hopes to become a composer when she grows up. She hopes to one day have her songs published.

An email from Irmen’s piano teacher, Jennifer Dahl of Music with Jennifer, says the APTA holds the competition annually with a different adjudicator. This year’s adjudicator was Cheryl Cooney, an associate composer from the Canadian Music Centre. Dahl said Cooney said Forest Song has a “good echo effect and interplay between voice and piano.”

“I like being able to use my imagination,” said Irmen. “I like composing my own songs and when there’s words, I like finding which ones rhyme and which ones go together nicely with the music, and everything just sounds so nice.”


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