Young composer wins state music contest

Education By David Snelling, Reporter Thursday, January 14, 2021

     Christopher Artau blew away the competition when he won the 2020-2021 Florida Bandmasters Association Composition Contest in December.

     Christopher, a sophomore at Mater Academy Charter Middle/High School in Hialeah Gardens, plays the trumpet and French horn.

     He created an original jazz composition entitled “Blossom,” and was chosen as the sole winner in the state of Florida, according to Jose Ruiz, Mater Academy’s band and music theory teacher.

     “Christopher is a talented music student,” Ruiz said. “He has the ability to juggle two instruments and write his own songs. Not too many sophomore concert and jazz band students can do that.”

     Christopher competed against 50 high school and middle school jazz band students to win the award.

     Christopher also brought back the honor to South Florida for the first time since 2015, Ruiz said.

     The Florida Bandmasters Association created the competition in 2011 to encourage students’ efforts in music and recognize their achievements.

     This year the contest happened online, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

     A panel of judges from the Florida Bandmasters Association Composition Contest Committee chose Christopher as the winner.

     The organization is based in Pembroke Pines, Fla. Christopher’s plaque for his achievement will be unveiled during the Florida Music Education

Association’s clinic and conference the week of Jan. 13, and he will receive a $500 prize, Ruiz said.

      That event will be virtual as well.

     The Florida Music Education Association is a not-for-profit professional organization that supports music education across Florida, and partners with the Florida Bandmasters Association for music competition contests.

     Christopher asked his teacher to sign him up for the competition in October because he wrote a song that he believed could win, Ruiz said.

     “He’s going to be a great composer one day,” Ruiz said.


Mater Academy Charter Middle/High School sophomore Christopher Artau and Band and Music Theory Teacher Jose Ruiz celebrate his win in the 2020-2021 Florida Bandmasters Association Composition Contest. Photo courtesy of the school.

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