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Wayland Student Composer Earns Second Place Finish in the Wisconsin School Music Association’s Student Composer Competition

Albert Ho `23 standing on stage near the piano after performing in the 2021 Fall Recital

Wayland student composer, Lam "Albert" Ho `23, won second place in the Wisconsin School Music Association’s (WSMA) Student Composer Competition, Concert Band/Orchestra category. Albert wrote an entire piece for concert band and the judge loved it! This is a great honor, especially considering the competition includes students who have usually been composing pieces for a while, and this is Albert’s first composition.

Albert's mentor, Mrs. Throndsen H`14. was thrilled with the competition results. She said, "Albert has been my mentee since he arrived at Wayland three years ago. He has always shown a great interest in music. From playing piano, singing, to learning theory, he has always done really well. He has an innate musical ability, and he really dedicated a lot of time and talent to this really cool piece. The judge had a lot of great things to say about it, and the fact that he won second place in his first composition is amazing! I am super proud of my mentee!"

Albert reflected on his work, "I originally drafted this on one November afternoon last year [2021], for the fun of it. I then decided to show it to Mrs. Throndsen, our band conductor and my mentor; she thought it was very nice and that I should make complete version of it. When I learned about the WSMA Composition competition, I knew I had to finished it and submit it. Working on this piece with minimum knowledge in music theory and a deadline, I have learned a lot about composition skills and time management."

There were 121 total submissions received from 82 students, with 99 of the (121) submissions in the high school division. The results for the Concert Band/Orchestra category are included below. You can view the full results of the Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) Student Composition Project on their website

Concert Band/Orchestra Category 
First PlaceIn Meadows They Danced, by Joey O’Connor from Lincoln High School; Rebekah Nyenhuis—Educator
Second Place114-Title Sequence, by Lam Ho from Wayland Academy; Amy Thorondsen—Educator
Third PlaceDivide with Reunification by Gift Akere from Verona Area High School; Eric Anderson—Educator
Honorable MentionComposition of the Arts by Aura Kostecki from Milwaukee High School of the Arts; Mark Grauer—Educator
Honorable MentionPiano Concerto in D Minor Movement 1 by Chase Van Benschoten from James Madison Memorial High School; Ben Jaeger—Educator

The 2022 WSMA Student Composition Project virtual awards ceremony will be held May 14. WSMA will begin the event with an interactive learning session at 2 p.m. for all winners. The session will be led by a guest speaker and Wisconsin composer, Dr. Michelle McQuade Dewhirst. Family, educators, and administrators are welcome to attend the awards ceremony at 3 p.m. To RSVP for the online event, visit the corresponding link below.

Student and Family RSVP:

Educator and Administrator RSVP:

Way to go, Albert! 👏🏼 👏🏼 👏🏼