Silver Creek senior showcased in Electronic Music Competition

Connor Graves, a senior at Silver Creek High School, received statewide recognition for his electronic music composition “Born Again at the New York State School Music Association Conference All State concert program in Rochester.

Dr. Herbert Deutsch, a professor emeritus and electronic music composer from Hofstra University, selected “Born Again” into the NYSSMA Electronic Music Showcase because Connor demonstrated musicality, originality, and inventiveness in the synthesized composition. Deutsch knows a thing or two about electronic music; he was a collaborator on the original MOOG synthesizer with inventor Robert Moog in 1964.

Connor’s “Born Again” combined ‘old school’ synthesizer sounds with fresh beats, and witty musical moments.

His mentor, and former music teacher, Rachel Curtin, expressed pride in not only the commendations that Connor earned from this showcase, but also in Connor’s commitment to musical process and refinement.

She said, “Connor invested months and months of energy into this piece. His hours of experimentation with sounds, composition and improvisation, and mixing were often solitary, and challenging. Every composer struggles to match the music that he wants to hear, with his final product. Connor showed true resiliency and artistic dedication throughout this process because he wanted to meet the challenge of NYSSMA’s showcase opportunity.”

Ten student composers were selected from New York State School Music Association call for entries. Connor was the only student from Western New York who received the honor, and was the first in the eighteen years of this program, to be selected from Chautauqua County.

Connor is the son of Hugh and Jena Graves of Silver Creek.