Sophomore composes musical, plays five instruments

Orchestra member goes above and beyond the classroom

Sophomore+Amara+Foner+plays+the+viola+at+Orchestra+practice+Friday+the+15th.+This+is+one+of+six+instruments+that+she+plays+as+well+as+composing+the+score+for+a+musical.+
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Sophomore composes musical, plays five instruments

Sophomore Amara Foner plays the viola at Orchestra practice Friday the 15th. This is one of six instruments that she plays as well as composing the score for a musical.

Sophomore Amara Foner plays the viola at Orchestra practice Friday the 15th. This is one of six instruments that she plays as well as composing the score for a musical.

Carly Joseph

Sophomore Amara Foner plays the viola at Orchestra practice Friday the 15th. This is one of six instruments that she plays as well as composing the score for a musical.

Carly Joseph

Carly Joseph

Sophomore Amara Foner plays the viola at Orchestra practice Friday the 15th. This is one of six instruments that she plays as well as composing the score for a musical.

Samantha Klepfer

According to sophomore Amara Foner, she has been learning music since she was 4 years old.

“I play piano, cello, flute, viola and ocarina. I’ve been playing piano since I was 4, and I was 9 when I started cello,” Foner said. “I was 11 when I started flute; I started viola last year, and I started ocarina last year as well.”

Foner said she’s limited herself to five instruments at once for the time being.

“I’ve learned that through learning my instruments it is good to keep to a limit because if you’re on too many (instruments) at once then you’re not able to focus and actually get good at them, which is something I do have to catch myself on sometimes,” Foner said.

According to orchestra director Kou Lee, Foner’s work ethic has brought her to the top of the ensembles she’s in.

“(Foner is) very dedicated,” Lee said. “She’s definitely one of my top players, one of my top cellists, and she’s becoming one of my top violists.”

According to Park band director Steve Schmitz, Foner’s love of music is apparent in her attitude.

“Amara is a very serious student. She clearly loves music and is passionate about it,” Schmitz said.

Foner said she also composes professionally, on top of everything else.

“(Composing is) actually kind of my job. It’s my main focus,” Foner said. “I started out doing a class — it was actually part of the orchestra curriculum — and it just totally drew me in. It totally clicked with me right away. It wasn’t something I was good at, but it was definitely something that I loved to do.”

According to Foner, she started out small and quickly picked up composing and arranging by listening and researching other musicians.

“My first few compositions were terrible, but once I started getting going it was more fun, and I could kind of learn how to do different things. I also started out listening to music on YouTube,” Foner said. “I like being able to listen to music and then writing it as I listen to it, which is a process which takes a while, but it’s definitely worth it. That’s how I started out, and then being able to see what other composers have written that’s unpublished helped me to learn how to write my own music.”

According to Lee, Foner’s dedication when it comes to her instruments extends into her composing.

“As a player I think (Foner is) a very dedicated person. She plays flute, cello and viola. I know she also arranges music, and she writes music,” Lee said. “I know that she is usually up late working on composition or arranging music.”

Foner said her most recent project involves composing 25 original pieces for a musical.

“I got hired by a senior that was graduating last year to write some music, so that’s been really fun, but that’s pretty much what I do,” Foner said. “She’s writing a musical and she hired me to write the music for the musical.”

According to Foner, the rough draft for the musical has been written, though she has yet to complete the music.

“They finished writing it, so they had an open read through where they read through the script to see if they needed any changes (and) we do have a publisher ready,” Foner said. “I’m hoping to get the music finished by the end of this year at the latest (so) we can hopefully publish it either by the end of this year or next year.”

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