August 2, 2023

On May fourteenth, I had the privilege of driving two musically gifted brothers to the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra’s Mother’s Day concert.  This wasn’t the first time I’d been able to provide transportation for Ceevon – a pianist and composer – and his brother Jaymeir – a drummer and percussionist.  The brothers share their music and collaborations with the Lancaster Community in multiple ways and venues; each time is a real gift.

The brothers had attended an orchestra concert in the past.  But this particular concert was special because it inspired a new step in Ceevon’s musical journey. At fourteen years old, Ceevon is already an excellent composer.  His works utilize advanced, fresh chord progressions, natural melodies, and wonderfully balanced instrumentation.  His compositions most frequently feature the piano, as well as percussion.  However, at the Mother’s Day Concert, inspiration struck, and Ceevon took to the recording app once again.

On Tuesday, only two days after the concert, I drove Ceevon to a piano lesson.  On our way, I asked him what he’d been working on lately.  An affluent creative, he always has something new to share with me, as he often creates new beats and songs within a day or two.  This day was no different.  Although, that isn’t quite true.  It was different- because Ceevon showed me his first orchestral composition.

The piece is an arrangement based on an original work Ceevon has performed many times before, often accompanied by Jaymeir on the drums.  However, this inspired artist had interwoven melodies, rhythms, and ostinatos played by various string instruments, with a bell-like xylophone descanting lightly above.

As a string player and composer myself, I cannot express how excited I was to hear this, nor can I describe how eager I was to help him take this orchestral work to the next level. You see, Ceevon has mastered a free recording app, similar to Logic Pro.  However, such apps have their shortcomings, and unfortunately, this app has no method of transcribing this work into written music.  However, in my collegiate career, I had the privilege of practicing transcription, as well as the use of Finale, a music notation software.  This experience has given me the tools to help Ceevon make his music accessible to performers.

We’re currently working together to get Ceevon’s work transcribed and into the hands of string players who can give him something the composer has never had before, a live performance of his works that allows him to be an audience member.  As a composer who has had the gift of hearing my works performed by others, I cannot express how excited I am for this gifted musician to have the same experience!

Regarding the composition process of this piece, Ceevon told me, “It wasn’t hard, or really that different (from the others).  It just sounds different.  I used a lot of cellos, I really like the sound.”  I asked him where he wanted to take his compositions, and he simply replied, “I’m not sure yet.”  For Ceevon, inspiration strikes at the moment, and he responds.  I cannot wait to see where this talented up-and-coming artist goes!

By: Sarah Ziegler