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Norwalk School Band to Play a Classmate's Music

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk’s Nathan Hale Middle School band is performing a very special song at its next concert, one composed by a classmate.

Maeve Bustell, an eighth-grader at Nathan Hale, has been playing music most of her life, much to the surprise of her family. “I don’t really know why I wanted to start music, because no one in my family is musical,” Bustell said. “They’re supportive, they just don’t really understand it.” She said they’re trying, though.

The song her bandmates will perform is called “Kinetics” and is the result of her trying out melodies since she started playing on the electric piano her parents got as a toy.

While in seventh grade, Bustell went to her music teacher, Ed Wojtowicz, with some of the music she had written, and there has been a back and forth ever since.

“In all the years I’ve taught, this is the first time I’ve had a student do this, which is pretty amazing,” said Wojtowicz.

“Kinetic” is now for a full band, including instruments the middle school ensemble doesn’t have, such as bassoon and chimes.

It’s also been written for instruments Bustell doesn’t play, and that’s where the computer program Finale comes in handy, letting her work with instruments she doesn’t know. She does, however, play piano, clarinet, bass clarinet and alto sax, and can play scales on a few others.

“I would describe ‘Kinetic’ as being eclectic and crazy,” Bustell said. “There are certain parts where the chords aren’t something you would usually hear, and it’s like dissonance and notes that don’t’ usually go together are there to create a BAM! I put crazy notes in there to create an element of surprise.”

When asked how her classmates feel about performing a song their peer wrote, she said they were pretty excited, as far as she knew.

Music, she said, will always be a part of her life. She’s taking three music classes at Norwalk High School next year, although she isn’t sure what will happen after that.

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