A blog about Austin’s arts scene with news, reviews and recommended happenings.
Think you can name that song? Not faster than Austin’s music memory students
Naming songs on the radio is a fun game for long road trips, but what about classical music from 200 years ago?
That’s the challenge for thousands of elementary and middle school students across Texas who participate in the music memory program. It’s a UIL-approved contest, so every year, the best students compete on teams at an annual citywide event.
The history of these performances — usually from a live orchestra in a public place where community members gather to watch — started 101 years ago in New Jersey and has a long history in Austin.
After last year’s music memory contest (my son was a first-time competitor), I was so moved by the experience (a live orchestra of high school students! playing for elementary students who can name a song after hearing just three seconds of it!) and story behind the family who revived it after a decades-long absence that I wrote a story about it later that summer.
You’ll be sure that members of Malcolm Gregory’s family will be there to watch his love of music pass on to yet another generation of careful music listeners. Here’s a glimpse into their story: