Talented freshman’s original composition gains recognition with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra


Andre Brooks

Adam Brooks with Dr. Crust, one of the conductors for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra

White Station is filled with talent, and students often get to share their passions with the rest of the city. He is only a freshman, but Adam Brooks (9) has already made his mark by having his original composition featured in the January concert series by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. As part of the Young People’s Concert Composition Competition (YPCCC), Brooks submitted his own classical arrangement and was selected as the winner, offering him the opportunity to have his music played by professional musicians.

Brooks began composing in the seventh grade, and he honed his skills through projects for his English class.

“My teacher gave me the option of making a piece based off of a book rather than doing another assignment for a project…and that’s where I got a lot of my experience in making music,” Brooks said.

Much of the inspiration for Brooks’ compositions derives from a range of sources. He listens to a wide variety of genres to truly channel the feelings and emotions he wishes to express. When he starts writing a piece, he will try to pick out the different instruments and ideas from each other and play them out on a piano. He can write down exactly what he hears. Using a composing software on his computer, he is able to input notes into a sheet music format; however, if it does not follow Brooks’ vision, he may delete large sections or even the whole piece.

Apart from the YPCCC, Brooks wanted to use his talents for school. Unsatisfied with the repertoire in the middle school band, Brooks decided to take matters into his own hands and compose his own music. He has echoed the same aspirations to compose at the high school level.

“I definitely encourage any of the students to compose for us. If he does, I will definitely take a chance and let him try it with us. I definitely want to encourage kids to write and experiment,” Mr. Sims, the band director said.

At the moment, music and composition is a hobby in Brook’s life. Although he plans to pursue other career paths besides music in the future, he never wants to abandon the art of composition.