Grass Valley, CA – Seventeen young composers are excited to share the culmination of their compositional studies from this InConcert Sierra’s “Composers Project.” Their original works will be performed by professional musicians on Thursday, June 30 at 7:30pm.

The Composers Project is a nine-month program for students ages 12-22 that explores all aspects of composition, including music theory, notation, finding inspiration, music history, writing for instrument families, and public speaking. The students meet and work with guest musicians, artists, and composers. 

CP students visiting the “Uba Seo Nisenan Arts and Culture gallery” in Nevada City. Photo by Annette Dunklin

This season, the composers unearthed inspiration for their final compositions through a collaboration with the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan community and CHIRP (California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project). Through field trips, conversations, and guest speakers, they learned about the history and culture of the Nisenan, and their ongoing struggle to regain recognition from the federal government.

“It was a powerful collaboration and an important current event that is happening right here in our community,” said Mark Vance, instructor and Education Director for InConcert Sierra.

The students wrote for ensembles of duos and trios with titles such as “Steward of the Land”, “Waltz on Stolen Ground”, “Before the Gold Rush”, “Measured Loss”, “The Madness of Two Centuries” and “Forgetting a Beautiful Thing.”

CP ensemble (L-R): Kristen Autry, viola; Zoe Schlussel, violin; Eliza Hagy, composers student/violinist; Jia-mo Chen, cello. Photo by Craig SIlberman

“The works are all different and yet impressive and engaging,” said Vance. “The students receive a valuable education that is celebrated by both students and parents alike.”

“As parents, these completed compositions are how we get to experience our child’s creative, hard work, with the guidance of the incredible teacher, Mark Vance. Our son has been so inspired by CP that he now says he wants to be a musician and composer,” said one parent of a current composition student.

The concert will be at Miners Foundry in Nevada City on Thursday, June 30 at 7:30pm.  Shelley Covert who is the Executive Director at C.H.I.R.P. and Spokesperson/Tribal Council Member for the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe will open the concert in honor of the collaboration and of the compositional efforts of the young composers.

InConcert Sierra is a Nevada County non-profit organization that presents classical music stars from today’s international stage, as well as emerging young artists, and local and regional professional musicians. Its “Bach to the Future” robust music education offerings provide immersive experiences for all ages. Founded in 1946, ICS is celebrating 75 years as an integral part of Nevada County’s arts community.

For more information, please visit or call 530-273-3990.