Spotlight on Walla Walla Symphony

Representing Washington:
Walla Walla Symphony

SPARK! Composition Course


When the COVID-19 pandemic caused live musical gatherings to come to a grinding halt, the Walla Walla Symphony began creating ways we could continue building connection, community and confidence in young people through music. In the summer of 2020 we launched SPARK! our first ever virtual composition camp. During the summer, 20 young people participated in daily private lessons and group classes that focused on improvisation, individual music skills and communication. We’ve continued to expand the model to meet the need presented by distance learning and the lack of opportunity to make and hear music.

Since the program began less than a year ago, we have worked with over 40 young composers and they have created 90 new pieces of music.



This program continues to bridge some of the divide created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many young people are feeling extremely isolated and lonely–cut off from friends and social support groups. In this program, we aim to create ways to connect and express through the creation of music. Participation is not limited by experience and is totally free. We are finding that a virtual format actually works really well for this type of work and has created a very accessible and diverse program.


Video produced by Rebecca Devereaux

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