Patrick Holcomb ’18 was walking through a CVS pharmacy in Ocean View, Delaware, when a melody evoking the sound of waves, wind and seagulls suddenly came to him.
On winter break of his senior year, he wrote the melody down and didn’t return to it until he had started graduate school at Indiana University. In May, his orchestral piece “Persephone” received national recognition when Holcomb won a BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) Student Composer Award.
Holcomb is one of eight composers to win the prestigious award this year, which is presented annually to composers under the age of 28. Nearly 600 composers living in the Western Hemisphere competed for the prize this year.
Evis Sammoutis, an associate professor of composition who taught Holcomb at Ithaca College, said he wasn’t surprised his former student had received the award. “I expect Patrick to do great things,” Sammoutis said. “This is just one of the steps in that direction that I was always confident would be there for him.”