Zeitgeist: Andy Troska (JCI 2009) wins Eric Stokes Song Contest

By Randall - Posted on 09 February 2011


Andy Troska, a junior at Centennial High School in Circle Pines and 2009 alumnus of JCI, was named winner of Zeitgeist’s 16th annual Eric Stokes Song Contest in the youth category.

His piece, “Discounted,” was composed for piano and will be performed at Zeitgeist’s upcoming Playing it Close to Home concerts.

Troska has played the violin for 11 years, composed music for the past five years and is a 2010-11 Schubert Club composer apprentice, studying with local composer Edie Hill. He has also studied composition with Sarah Miller at the MacPhail Center for Music. In addition, he is involved in speech, theater, choral music and National Honors Society at his school, and has acted and played music at theaters throughout the Twin Cities.

The Eric Stokes Song Contest is sponsored by new music group Zeitgeist in memory of late composer Eric Stokes; the contest was designed to encourage and celebrate amateur composers throughout the Twin Cities. The winning composers have the opportunity to participate in Zeitgeist’s annual Playing it Close to Home concerts in February; in addition, they also receive a $100 prize and a one-year membership to the American Composers Forum.

This was the strongest group of youth composers we’ve seen in the 16 years we’ve held this contest. Our judges were uniformly impressed with Andy’s outstanding composition, and we can’t wait to play it during our upcoming Playing it Close to Home concerts,” said Heather Barringer, artistic co-director and percussionist for Zeitgeist.

This year’s performances include:

  • Feb. 11, 12, 7:30 p.m., Studio Z
  • Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m., Chanhassen High School

$10 suggested donation. This annual concert also features music by esteemed local composer and jazz musician Carei Thomas. 

Studio Z: 275 East Fourth Street, Suite 200, St. Paul, 55408
Chanhassen High School: 2200 Lyman Blvd, Chanhassen, 55317

Founded in 1977, Zeitgeist is a new music chamber ensemble consisting of two percussion, piano and woodwinds, and is one of the oldest and most successful new music groups in the country. Based in St. Paul, Minn., the group presents an annual concert series and delivers a wide variety of community-based performance programs for residents of the Twin Cities and the surrounding areas. Our mission is to enliven today's music and expand its public with performances that engage, stimulate and hearten. Members are: Heather Barringer, percussion; Patti Cudd, percussion; Pat O’Keefe, woodwinds; Shannon Wettstein, piano.


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