Another Composer Symposium in the Rear View Mirror

Another Composer Symposium in the Rear View Mirror

What a great week I just experienced in Atlanta at Pine Lake Music, where I taught at Joseph Martin’s Composer Symposium.  This was the 10th anniversary of the event, and I have been privileged to be on the faculty for eight of those years.

The growth of the Symposium, both in numbers and quality, has been great to see.  Registrations this year were higher than ever before.  More importantly, the quality of the music presented by the registrants was the best it has ever been – evidenced by the fact that some 10 pieces presented by registrants were selected for print publication by the three publishers at the workshop.

(Here’s an impressive stat: In the past 10 years, Symposium registrants have placed more than 130 pieces of music into print publication.)

Personally, it’s gratifying to see the marked improvement in the work of the several registrants I have coached for the past few years in Atlanta.  Every one of them has grown as a composer or lyricist. Many of them are now published composers.

I am looking forward to a new chapter in the Composer Symposium’s history this October, when we have our first symposium in Austin, TX.  Until then, my thanks to Joe Martin and my fellow faculty members and to Pine Lake Music and its wonderful staff.  What a terrific thing it it to hang with the likes of John Parker, Joel Raney, Jean Anne Schafferman, Brad Nix, and the MAN – Joe Martin.  Here we all are enjoying dinner and swapping war stories with our gracious Pine Lake hosts.

Composer Symposium faculty 2014


  1. Monte Garrett says:


    Depending on the timing, etc., I am interested in attending the October Symposium … more as an outside observer. Do you think Joe would be good with something like that?


  2. Josh Metzger says:

    Thank you, Robert, for all your helpful comments and advice at the Symposium. I’m greatly looking forward to next year. In the meantime, I’ll try not to write any more “what-the-what-the” moments!


  3. Dawn Young says:

    Great words! Thanks for all you do in participating and being there for these composers. Always enjoy seeing you and working with you.

  4. Ed Rush says:

    Yeah! Everything you said. Maybe I will sign up with a lesson with you next year. If only one of us could play the piano.

  5. Diane Hannibal says:

    Thanks to you for your many years of teaching and sometimes preaching.
    We needed it. I am fired up to create even better stuff for next year.

    • rsterling says:

      Awesome. Now get back to writing! Wes, you too. 🙂

      • Wes Hannibal says:

        I just advertised our piece ,This Night (remember) on .I actually posted it twice because I spelled MY name wrong the first time. Let the second flow of royalties begin!
        Robert, thanks.

        • rsterling says:

          Way to go, Wes. And brilliant move- misspelling your own name so you could post it twice. 🙂

          Maybe you should have misspelled my name, too!

  6. Gwyn Williams says:

    It was truly awesome. I always come away feeling inspired to keep on trying. You, Joe, Jean Anne, Joel, Brad and John were just fantastic. Now I must go attempt to declunkify my piano part!

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