Senior Steven Hixson redirects his gaze from the balcony of the John Glenn gym, where String Sounds has just finished playing James Taylors Fire and Rain, to pull himself away long enough for an interview. Hes standing in the midst of the East Muskingum Showcase, and while none of his work is currently on display, Hixson is a dedicated member of East Muskingums artistic community.
Hixson began working with his fellow Muskies last fall, when choir director Greg Milleson decided that he was dissatisfied with the ending of Tonight, one of the choirs songs. He offered to entertain any alternate endings that students in the choir submitted to him.
A junior at the time, Hixson leapt at the opportunity, completely reengineering the songs finish, and Milleson decided to use his version for the concert.
In addition to the music he wrote for the choir, Hixson has also posted several songs as videos on his Facebook profile. While he appreciates the feedback from his friends, he does not share all of his compositions. The ones I tend to put up are the ones I feel are technically the best but arent so personal, said Hixson.
Hixson is himself a singer as well as a writer. Hes not only a member of the choir, but also JG Company and has played a lead role in West Side Story and currently portrays the Beast in Beauty and the Beast.
Considering this, it seems a little counterintuitive that nearly all of his pieces are exclusively instrumental. I love the concept of creating an experience through music, not everyday language, or not just language, he explained.
At Millesons request, Hixson has recently written a full original piece for JG Company entitled Apple Sky. No decisions have been made yet, but they might perform the song for the spring concert. The groups rehearsals are an interesting experience for Hixson, who has never had anyone but himself perform his music prior to the Tonight ending.
Its certainly nerve-racking because people are judging you, your creation, he admits. But theres also something exhilarating about it because youre communicating and connecting with people on a special level.