Express the Music

Express the Music invites students in grades 6-12 to discover an orchestral work and respond with prose or poetry inspired by the music. This season, students explored the 4th movement of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5.

Congratulations 2022 Express the Music Winners!

Thank you to all the teachers who participated in Express the Music this year! During the 2021/2022 school year, 32 schools and more than 1,900 students participated. Over 400 submissions were received, and from this group 52 finalists were selected.

Read the compositions from all the 2022 Finalists at the link below.



Prose (Junior Division):
First place: Finn Borchardt, 8th grade, Parkway Central Middle School
Second place: Caleb Porter, 8th grade, Parkway Central Middle School
Third place: Elle Wujcik, 8th grade, Parkway Central Middle School

Prose (Senior Division):
First place: Grace Hanson, 10th grade, Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School
Second place: August Alcaraz, 11th grade, Parkway South High School
Third place: Beatrice Lohman, 12th grade, Nerinx Hall

Poetry (Junior Division):
First place: Isabella Angelo, 6th grade, Parkway West Middle School
Second place: Eden Batten, 7th grade, St. Peter School
Third place: Cecelia Hahn, 8th grade, Truman Middle School

Poetry (Senior Division):
First place: Claire McBride, 11th grade, Nerinx Hall
Second place: Tessa Palermo, 9th grade, Clayton High School
Third place: Bethany Lai, 9th grade, Clayton High School

Poetry and prose entries were reviewed separately using a multi-judge blind process. Volunteers from the SVA served as preliminary judges while two panels of experts judged the finalists' compositions.

Awards Ceremony

All finalists, their teachers, and their families are invited to attend the Express the Music Awards Ceremony, which will take place on Sunday, March 27, during the 3:00pm concert at Powell Hall: St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra Performs Sibelius’ Second Symphony.

Finalists who are interested in attending should email to request complimentary tickets to the concert and ceremony for themselves and their guests.

The public is also welcomed to attend the concert and ceremony. Reserve tickets.

Contact Us


Express the Music is presented by the St. Louis Symphony Volunteer Association and sponsored by Employees Community Fund of Boeing St. Louis.