Music Students Attend a Songwriting Workshop Conducted By Larry Kirwan
This week the York Prep Music Room had the privilege of hosting songwriter/author/playwright/composer Larry Kirwan, who conducted a workshop in songwriting. Eleven students attended this workshop, which was organized by music teacher Coty Cockrell, and some of them even shared their original pieces with Mr. Kirwan.
During the first half of the workshop, Mr. Kirwan used one of his songs, Fanatic Heart, to break down the various parts of constructing a song. He then explained how he came up with the narrative for his lyrics by using the words of Keats as a starting place. After Mr. Kirwan went over how he developed the melodic idea and expanded the song into complementary parts, Mr. Cockrell joined him in performing the song so that the students could hear how all of the elements came together. During the second half of the workshop York Prep students Sariah Johnson, David Reichberg, Phoebe Unger, and Ben Warshavsky shared their original pieces for constructive feedback from Mr. Kirwan.
“I couldn't be more pleased with how it went!” says Mr. Cockrell. “They were the very model of professionalism and showcased our school in the very best light.” We look forward to the next guest artist, Rona Siddiqui, who is coming in late April.
A brief bio on Larry Kirwan: Larry Kirwan was the leader of the Irish political rock band Black 47 for 25 years during which the band played 2500 gigs, released 16 albums, appeared on Leno, Letterman, O’Brien, Fallon and every major US TV show. As a playwright and novelist, an Irish Echo columnist, and a celebrity host/producer of Celtic Crush on SiriusXM Satellite Radio, he has written 16 plays and musicals, three novels, a memoir, and A History of Irish Music. His musical, Paradise Square, recently ran for 10 weeks and was twice extended at Berkeley Rep. His latest novel, Rockaway Blue, will be published in January 2021 by Cornell University Press. He is currently completing two new musicals, IRAQ, and The Catacombs (the life and times of Brendan Behan).