Isabella Nichols

Isabella Nichols, composerIsabella Nichols is a junior at the Kettle Moraine High School of Health Sciences and a member of MYSO’s Senior Symphony. She plays violin and piano in addition to composing music, and hopes to study composition in college.

When not playing music, Isabella can be found hiking the Ice Age Trail or advocating for social and environmental justice.

She would like to thank her John Downey Creation Project mentor Dr. Christian Ellenwood and composition teacher Sam Ecoff for all of their guidance in the creation of this piece, as well as her violin teacher Max Anisimov, and her former piano teacher Joseph Lecher. She is grateful for the support of Mr. Carter Simmons and for the opportunity to work with student conductor Maliq Veal in bringing this piece to life. Finally she would like to thank her parents and sisters for their endless encouragement.

Written during the Covid-19 pandemic, After the Long Winter expresses hope for a long-awaited reawakening of the world. It is written in sonata allegro form and will become the opening movement of a larger symphonic work.

Following a slow introduction, it opens with a dark first theme in D minor before shifting to a bright second theme in F major, which is led by a melodic line in the horn. These themes evolve in the development section, where the second theme returns in D minor before the arrival of the recapitulation. The piece culminates with a finale in D major.

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