High school student composes symphonic piece

By David Elliott – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) – Seventeen-year-old Charlie Benton watched with pride last week as the Gulf Coast Symphony String Quartet performed his original composition at the Saenger Theater.

The senior at Gulfport High School composed the selection titled "Short and Joyous Quartet."

"It's not every day you get to hear your work performed," Benton said.

And it's not every day that a high school student composes a complex symphonic piece.

"I went to USM and I met maybe one composition student,' Gulfport High School Orchestra teacher Daniel Martinez said. "Then I come here and we have Charlie."

Charlie plays viola in the school orchestra and was thrilled when the Gulf Coast Symphony Quartet played his piece.

"Every composer wants to hear their music played. I'm no exception. It was great to hear it played by professional musicians," Benton said.

Charlie will audition for the USM Symphony and at other universities. He plans to major in music and continue composing music.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.