South Washington County Schools

Woodbury High School junior wins state composition competition

Photo of WHS Orchestra
By Jessica Hall
Woodbury High School junior Alex Trujillo recently won first place in Minnesota’s National Federation of Music Composition Competition. His piece, titled “Fantasy Suite,” consists of four movements lasting a total of 17 minutes. The piece has moved on to the regional competition and results will be released this spring. The contest was first brought to his attention by his private violin teacher who saw his potential to win.
When interviewed about this tremendous accomplishment, Alex talked about the process behind how he composes. He disclosed that he spent a total of one month completing the suite, taking a weekend to complete each movement. He worked tirelessly to write parts for all of the instruments in the orchestra and make his vision come to life. When asked about how he learned to compose he said that he merely “plays around with the notes until it feels right.”
Alex began playing the violin in fourth grade and has continued to grow as a musician ever since. He began composing for fun in the eighth grade, learning how notes fit together and how various instruments work together to create a complete sound. This is his third year in Woodbury High School’s orchestra and his second in concert, which is the top orchestra ensemble available for students in grades 10, 11 and 12.   

Alex looks forward to pursuing higher education in music composition and theory. For his senior year, he has plans for independent study with Matt Shervey, one of Woodbury High School’s band teachers who has a degree in composition.

The Woodbury High School concert orchestra, conducted by Alex, played “Fantasy Suite” at their concert on Thursday, Feb. 28. He received a standing ovation.