Quinn Dizon was searching for a good music school when a high school counselor suggested he take a look at Wooster.
“We flew to Ohio, and my half-hour appointment with Dr. [Jack] Gallagher turned into a two-hour meeting,” he says. “He asked me to come back with my parents, and that turned into a 90-minute session. We were very impressed by the welcoming atmosphere and the individual attention. It became clear that Wooster was interested in me as an individual, not just another student.”
Now, as he prepares to graduate, Dizon can look back on four years of personal and musical growth. Earlier this year, the Wooster Symphony and Wooster Chorus performed “Grace,” a piece he composed in honor of his mother. A set of variations on “Amazing Grace” with “metrical alternations from 3/4 to 6/8”, the work, says Dizon, aspires to “dramatic contrasts of melody and harmony.”
Jeffrey Lindberg, director of the Wooster Symphony, first heard “Grace” at Dizon’s junior recital last spring. “Quinn’s piece made an immediate impression on me,” Lindberg says. “I asked him and [Wooster Chorus conductor] Lisa Yozviak if we could include it in one of our programs this season, and both graciously agreed.”
Jack Gallagher, the professor whose first meeting with Dizon made such an impression, ended up serving as his Independent Study advisor.
“Quinn," Gallager says, "is a remarkably gifted composer whose creations, wrought with lapidarian precision, inhabit an elegantly sculpted, exquisitely nuanced sound world. ‘Grace,’ one of several works composed for his junior I.S. in composition, is a stunningly realized, deeply expressive set of variations for chorus, strings, and harp. For his senior I.S., Quinn composed ‘Apotheosis’ — two major sections of a highly ambitious cantata to a text of his own devising for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, [as well as] two choral settings of poems by Sara Teasdale.”
Dizon will spend the summer after graduating from Wooster at La Schola Cantorum in Paris, studying composition and counterpoint. In the fall, he will attend the University of Louisville as a Bomhard Fellow in music theory. His ultimate goal is a doctorate in composition and a teaching position at a college or university, where he can mentor the next generation of musicians and composers, as Wooster’s music faculty mentored him.
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