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Sycamore Orchestra Premiers Piece Written By Own Student

The Sycamore High School Symphony Orchestra recently had the honor of premieringa piece composed by their own peer, Sycamore High School Senior Casey Bunge. “Au Printempts”, French for “In The Springtime”, received its own special premier by the SHS Symphony Orchestra at a recent spring concert.“Musical composition has always been a passion of mine,” comments composer Casey Bunge. “I’ve been writing intensely since Freshman year, and ‘Au Printemps’ is the best of many pieces I’ve written for personal enjoyment. At one point I figured I may as well present it to my Orchestra Conductor, Mr. Tonaki, for suggestions or comments. Much to my surprise, he offered to have the Orchestra play it!”

Casey’s interest in music began early in the general music classes at West Elementary School. Casey reflects, “In the 4th Grade, my music teacher encouraged me to work on writing simple songs for the recorder that the rest of the class would play, which really ignited my love for music and composition.” To date, Casey has invested over 4000 hours of composing music and has written many pieces for string and full orchestra, as well as dozens of contemporary and non-classical songs. Casey enjoys playing music, mainly the trombone in the High School Band, Jazz Band, and Symphonic Band and Orchestra. He is currently learning the piano, and dabbles on the flute, trumpet, and baritone. He plans on teaching himself the violin this summer to aid in orchestral composition.

Most of the notes for “Au Printemps” were written down in four days; the version that the Orchestra played was finished a few days after that. Before the Symphonic Orchestra gave its premier, Casey explained it’s background and meaning to the audience: “As the title suggests, the piece is meant to illustrate springtime, spring being a time of rebirth or renewal. The piece was written around the idea that regardless of one’s circumstances, there’s always hope; because at some point, at some indeterminate time in the future, there can always come an occurrence or happening that inspires a rebirth or renewal in the appreciation of love, life, or the world at large. Dedicated to that hope for ‘someday’ is ‘Au Printemps’.”

Orchestra Conductor Ken Tonaki comments,“’Au Primtemps’ represents Casey Bunge’s brilliance as an artist. It shows Casey’s ability to combine years of disciplined listening to great composers with his own creativity. He has written a piece that is unique and embodies his own personal spirit. It was an honor to collaborate and perform his piece. Both myself and the members of the Sycamore High School Chamber Orchestra really enjoyed the experience.”

Casey was simultaneously overwhelmed and awed as he watched and listened to his peers and friends perform his piece live and in public for the very first time. “The experience was unreal and one I won’t soon forget” expresses Bunge. Casey ads, “I’m very grateful to Mr. Tonaki and the fantastic Sycamore High School Orchestra for all that they’ve done, and I heartily thank Mr. Goodman for giving me an opportunity to enhance my skills through his course in music theory. The music program at SHS is truly incredible and I count myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to participate in it!”

Casey has committed to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign majoring in mathematics and/or physics with a minor in music theory and composition. He is also one of ten students awarded a scholarship and place on the 2014 All-State Academic Team, and is this year’s recipient of the SHS Band John Philip Sousa Award.

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