(St. Louis, March 20, 2018) – On March 4, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Volunteer Association honored 12 creative middle and high school students at Powell Hall as part of the annual Express the Music contest.

For more than 20 years, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and its Volunteer Association (SVA) have invited middle and high school English and music teachers to include Express the Music as part of their curriculum. Teachers have their students listen to a selected piece of music, then write a short story or poem in response to the music. This year, more than 2,000 area students accepted the challenge, listening to Samuel Barber's Overture for The School for Scandal, performed by the SLSO and conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

The SVA reviewed nearly 700 entries and selected 63 finalists this year. A panel of judges, all professional writers and editors, selected the winning compositions from the finalists. Winners received cash prizes.

Express the Music is sponsored annually by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Volunteer Association, with support from the Employees Community Fund of Boeing.


Winners for 2018 include:

Junior Division (Grades 6-8) – Prose:

1st Place:              Alexis Callahan, Messiah Lutheran School – 8th Grade

2nd Place:             Lanie Reuter, Wydown Middle School – 8th Grade

3rd Place:             Emma Tyulyaev, Twin Oaks Christian School – 7th Grade


Junior Division (Grades 6-8) – Poetry:

1st Place:              Berlynn Hamilton, Messiah Lutheran School – 8th Grade

2nd Place:             Samantha Anderson, Hixson Middle School – 7th Grade

3rd Place:             Ella Funke, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque School – 8th Grade


Senior Division (Grades 9-12) – Prose:

1st Place:              Chloe Schellman, Parkway South High School – 9th Grade

2nd Place:             Melanie Reichert, Lafayette High School – 12th Grade

3rd Place:             Isabella M. Volmert, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School – 12th Grade


Senior Division (Grades 9-12) – Poetry:

1st Place:              Jack Fletcher, Lindbergh High School – 12th Grade

2nd Place:             Madison Franke, Villa Duchesne – 12th Grade

3rd Place:             Roshae Hemmings, Parkway North High School – 12th Grade


For more information on Express the Music, visit


St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Celebrated as one of the today’s most exciting and enduring orchestras, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country and widely considered one of the world’s finest. Now in its 138th season, the orchestra is committed to artistic excellence, educational impact, and community connection – all in service to its mission of enriching people’s lives through the power of music.

In addition to its regular concert performances at Powell Hall, which marks its 50th anniversary as home of the SLSO this season, the orchestra is an integral part of the diverse and vibrant St. Louis community, presenting hundreds of free education programs and performances throughout the region each year. The Grammy Award–winning SLSO’s impact beyond the St. Louis region is realized through weekly Saturday night concert broadcasts on St. Louis Public Radio, celebrated recordings, and regular touring activity.

American conductor David Robertson is the 12th music director in the orchestra’s history and has solidified the SLSO’s standing as one of the nation’s most vital and innovative ensembles. The current SLSO season honors the legacy of Music Director David Robertson, whose remarkable 13-year tenure will conclude at the close of the season in May.

Today, the SLSO builds on the institution’s current momentum on all fronts, including artistic, financial, audience growth, and community impact, and looks toward the future with Stéphane Denève. Denève, who has been a frequent guest conductor with the orchestra since 2003, begins his tenure as Music Director with the 19/20 season, following next season as Music Director Designate.