Opening night of the Skaneateles Festival and Skaneateles' Sharon Magee was radiant.
"Only in Skaneateles," she said.
Her husband Marshall Magee, part of the cyber brain trust at Welch Allyn, was one of the concert's featured composers along with Bach, Mozart, Schubert and a few other guys. The "only" Sharon was referring to was that Marshall had never composed music before his "Heartbeat of Two," which was performed that evening by the World Class Daedalus Quartet.
Marshall was part of the Skaneateles Festival's Hyperscore project underwritten by Welch Allyn's Allyn Foundation, The Central New York Community Foundation's John Marsellus Fund and Chamber Music America.
Hyperscore is music composition software developed at MIT for the Microsoft platform. Skaneateles Festival's co artistic director David Ying told the audience that writing music can be a long and tedious process, requiring years of experience, Hyperscore somehow bypasses this and allows even the untrained to try their ear at composing.
The festival's Hyperscore project is a community outreach involving people of all ages including three school groups and one group of adults through Welch Allyn. The groups were invited to use Hyperscore for free and it was part of the music cirriculum at the schools. They worked closely with the festival's David Ying and the Daedalus Quartet during the spring.
"I found the composing process really engaging. The Hyperscore software had so many levels and facets that you could really have fun. And on the human side, working with artistic director David Ying and the Daedalus Quartet, they made you feel so comfortable," Marshall Magee said. "I had never done anything like this before. Now I have a whole new respect for all the collaboration that goes into any musical performance."
One of the teachers, Festival board member Steve Frackenpohl was on hand to assist at the actual concert on a lap top computer. The concert stage featured a large projected computer screen over the stage of four musicians, Min-Young Kim, violin; Kyu-Young Kim, violin; Jessica Thompson, viola; Raman Ramakrishnan, cello.