By Regina Rossello

Avery Roach has always been drawn to music. As a 2-year-old, he was so fascinated by his mother’s cello that she bought him one of his own one-eighth of the size of a standard cello. By 5 years old, he was learning to play full pieces.

As years went by, he expanded his musical talent, learning how to sing and compose as well as play the electric bass and drums. “The desire to play music is innate in me,” Roach said.  “I have always sought to expand my musical abilities.”

Now, a junior electronic arts major at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Roach is a member of the Orchestra, Concert Choir, and Chamber Music Ensemble. This weekend, he will not only perform in RPI’s annual holiday concert, but he will also debut one of his original compositions.

“It really is a wonderful feeling to be a composer for such an important concert,” said Roach, who also has original pieces premiering in this weekend’s Composition Seminar Concert and Chamber Music Concert at RPI. “I am really proud of all the work I have done over this semester.”

Roach took “Kouyou,” originally composed by Youhei Shimizu for Konami’s rhythm game Beatmania Core Remix, wrote lyrics, and arranged it for a choir. “I am really looking forward to the debut of my piece,” he said. “I have always loved Konami’s rhythm games, so watching this piece come together has been magical to me.”

In the future, Roach hopes to use his degree in electronic arts and passion for music to create sound for media such as movies, video games, and television shows. “While learning multiple skills can also make me a more desirable candidate, I participate in music for myself,” he said. “Music is vital to my identity.”

RPI’s holiday concert will take place on Sunday, December 10, in the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center Concert Hall at 3 p.m. EST. Those interested in attending can register online. In addition to the world premiere of Roach’s piece, the concert will include works composed by Norman Dello Joio, Gustav Holst, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Claude Debussy, Frédéric Chopin, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.