In January 2015, Princeton University Concerts announced a new initiative, the Creative Reactions Contest. Now in its second year, this writing contest — designed to foster reflection on the impact of hearing classical music, as perceived by students on Princeton’s campus — has been a resounding success. Over the course of 6 months, 80 students attended 7 different concerts and were asked to capture the experience of hearing live classical music. The form of their reactions was flexible, allowing for blank verse, prose, poetry, narrative, even lyrics. From a full field of entries, there were 4 winners - two First Prize Winners and two Second Prize Winners.
The winning reactions were all poems, reflecting a wide range of musical experiences. Marna Seltzer, Director of Princeton University Concerts, says “The Creative Reactions Contest is one of my favorite new initiatives. It allows students to make an entirely personal connection to the concerts we present, and it offers the opportunity to hear the music we present in a different way. For our adult audience, it gives them a glimpse into the thoughts of the next generation of concertgoers and music lovers. I congratulate this year’s winners, all poets, and continue to be astounded by the talent and creativity of Princeton students.”
The entries were read anonymously in three rounds by 11 judges:
ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS (please click on the title to read the winning piece of writing):
The Creative Reactions Contest is hosted by the Student Ambassadors of PUC, a small group of classical music-loving students whose mission is to increase student interest and participation in Princeton University Concerts programs. The contest is funded by PUC. Each year PUC presents a professional concert series featuring renowned classical musicians from all over the world. The Creative Reactions Contest seeks to further PUC’s mission by connecting students to the arts and celebrating classical music’s unique contributions. The Creative Reactions Contest is dedicated to the memory of Vera Sharpe Kohn, a loyal member of the Princeton University Concerts Committee whose support and enthusiasm contributed to the health and well being of Princeton University Concerts.
The offcical announcement of the winners will be made at our final concert on Thursday, April 28 at 7PM. At that time, the winners will read their works. The 30-minute presentation will be hosted by Professor Scott Burnham and will also feature excerpts of the music that inspired these wonderful pieces of writing.
Congratulations to all of the winners!« Back to blog