Posting Date: January 11, 2010

Meet Peter Westin: Creator of fine music



Peter Westin (center) with fellow 2009 Concerto Competition winners Noah Vece (left) and Michael Alcorn

Photos by Linda Tincher

Peter Westin, senior music major, was raised mainly on heavy metal and rock music and was influenced by groups such as Metallica and Whitesnake. Along with the rock influences, his parents constantly listened to National Public Radio and it was here that he was first introduced to classical music. Although Peter’s love for classical music continued through his teenage years, he admits that music wasn’t his initial career choice. Peter says, “I originally came to Kennesaw State University to get an education degree but as I started taking classes here, I realized that what I really want to do is write music.”

While still a student at Harrison High School, Peter was so impressed by what he saw during a trip to KSU to hear the KSU Wind Ensemble perform that he knew he wanted to be a student at KSU and work towards a degree in music. Peter also admires the the music program’s growth and openness to the wide variety of music that is available. He says, “Kennesaw State has a wider interest in different forms of music now. It used to be just wind band music and now that we’ve had the symphony orchestra for the last five years, our string program has increased.”

That wide area of music also opened Peter's thinking about another path in music: composition. Peter credits his mentor, Associate Professor of Music Laurence Sherr, with guiding him towards his future plans of being a composer and arranging music for high schools.

“The lessons I took with Dr. Sherr have really helped to hone what I want to do in the field of composition,” he says.

So far, Peter seems well on his way to establishing himself as a composer. He has not only gained experience in arranging music for high school bands, but as well as winning KSU’s 2009 Concerto Competition. He wrote his winning composition, Suite in G, in memory of his uncle who passed away from cancer. The suite was performed by the KSU Orchestra in October 2009.

The experience was very fulfilling, he says. “I just like to write music and I hope I can incorporate that into my future plans.”



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