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Ken Lampl, Associate Professor of Music at Hofstra University, visited campus from December 3-5, as the NU Choral Society performed his piece Adon Olam. Twenty students attended a luncheon, including students from Prof. Durant’s and Prof. Mall’s classes, and from the NU Choral Society.

Prof. Lampl charmed the students with stories of his own studies—staring with his mother’s expectation that he study pre-med to be a doctor. He spoke of his passion for jazz, and his years as a gigging saxophonist. He also described his transformation to a lover of “classical music” after hearing a tone poem by Richard Strauss.

Lampl recounted his classes and private lessons with renowned composers Milton Babbit, John Williams, and others. His advice to students was “to be flexible and able to follow the twists and turns that fate will send your way.” But he advised the composition students that they needed to be composing for at least four hours every day to refine their craft. Lampl played a video of a preview of a Hollywood film with a simple director’s “placekeeper” soundtrack, and then with the soundtrack that he composed.

Several of the composition students took him up on his offer to meet one on one, and he critiqued the students’ scores.

Prof Lampl. also visited the chorus rehearsal Thursday night and talked to the students about how started composing choral music, and the encouragement he received from our very own Prof. Joshua Jacobson.