Flashback Friday: Summer school for songwriting in 1986

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Summer vacation is full swing for students in KELOLAND, but some may still want to learn.

In this week’s Flashback Friday, we take you back to 1986, with KELOLAND’s Jay Trobec and go to a Summer School for songwriters.  

The halls are alive with the sound of teenage music at Southwest State. Fifteen high school musicians from Southwest Minnesota are learning how to write songs. LA composer Pete Luboff, son of choir director Norman Luboff, and lyricist wife Pat are teaching the workshop.

“We’re gonna start them with titles, and we’re gonna show them little melodic hooks, and we’re gonna…you know, how to develop the lyrics and how to develop the music. It’s a step by step process.”

The Luboff’s, who have written more than a thousand songs, say salesmanship is as much a part of writing as musical imagination.

“If you want to get your song out, you need to get it to an artist, you need to deal with that whole pitching of the song to people, and deal with the business side of it.”

The two week program is sponsored by the state educational cooperative service to teach popular music to rural students.

Michelle Swensen is one of the budding artists.

“Have you written any songs?”

“No, I’m working on one.”

Who knows, the top ten tune of the future may be brewing in the mind of one of these young composers. Jay Trobec, KELOLAND News, Marshall.

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