Chanticleer is currently running it's biannual composing competition. First prize will be the performance of the winning composition at our National Youth Choral Festival March 30, 2015. As part of the project, Education Director Ben Johns is introducing LAB XIIto a number of finalist composers in workshops in which LAB XII reads the new work for the composer. Pictured below is last Saturday's get -together with Spencer Robelen. Ben reports:

This Saturday marked the second rehearsal during which a student composer visited LAB XII. On Oct. 11, Jihyun Kim from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University flew out to work with us on her piece, "Lullaby for Sleepless Nights." This Saturday, Oct. 18, Spencer Robelen from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami worked on his piece, "Like an Eagle." Both workshops yielded great insight into the composing process in general and into the inspiration for these works in particular. Each composer also pointed out important details in the score to observe, to which the singers adapted quickly!

For Spencer, a 21 year old senior who grew up in Florida, this was his first time in California and the flight over was the longest he had ever experienced. He started composing in high school with a desire to write scores for film and musical theater. He now has his sights on a graduate composition program at NYU.

LAB XII will premiere "Like an Eagle" this weekend (Oct. 14 and 15 at 7pm) as a part of Miramonte High School's Performers for Progress show ( The show features new performances produced by students. Proceeds from the concert go to the Calli House in Richmond, a shelter for young adults facing adversity.

Work with student composers will continue this Saturday, when Kari Betton of Columbia College Chicago visits to work with LAB XII on her piece, "Morning Psalm." All of the new works for LAB XII are finalists in Chanticleer's Student Composer Competition. The competition remains open for submissions until Nov. 1.

The next LAB session will continue work with student composers, more finalists from the competition. The top composition will be performed at Chanticleer's National Youth Choral Festival in March by 350 high schoolers and Chanticleer on the stage of Davies Symphony Hall. All finalists and the top winner will be announced on Dec. 1.