Second-grader hits all the right notes with contest-winning composition
Alex Lauver barely has a free moment — and he doesn’t mind.
The Gill Hall Elementary student’s evenings are filled with basketball, soccer, Cub Scouts, church choir and running — things many 8-year-olds like to do.
One way Alex spends his time, however, isn’t something most musically-inclined people start doing until they’re much older, if at all.
The second-grader cello player is skilled at composing music.
A composition he wrote called “Fireworks” won the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association composition contest for the elementary level. His work will be performed at their April conference. The piece also was selected to be performed at the National Association for Music Education Eastern Division Conference Young Composer Showcase. Both events will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in early April.
Alex is one of only a handful of students selected from the region to receive this honor. He also will participate in a young composers forum where he will meet notable professional composers.
Alex has been playing the cello since kindergarten.
“It used to be pretty exciting. I was the only one in my whole grade who played,” he said.
Alex was born into a life of music.
MomRie is an elementary music teacher in the North Hills School District and dad Eric, an assistant principal at Trinity High School, used to teach music. Alex also has a brother, Aaron, 5.
“We want both of our kids to be well-rounded, and music is a big part of that,” Eric said.
Alex won first place in the Gill Hall PTA Reflections contest, which is put on by the National PTA, for compositions he wrote for two straight years. He also placed second in photography and art last year.
The most recent contest-winning piece combines the piano and cello. It took Alex about a month and a half to compose.
The challenge is making sure the two parts go together, Eric said.
Alex also excels in running. He’s a part of the Pacer Track Club and traveled to Reno, Nev., in December to compete in the USA Track & Field Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships.
His parents are proud of him and all that he’s done, they say.
Their hope is he gains a lifelong appreciation for music and the arts, but they don’t expect him to become a professional musician.
In fact, right now, this multitalented kid has his sights set on becoming a pharmacist.
Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.