Kitchener-Waterloo·Audio

8-year-old Kitchener boy wins 3rd place in international music competition

Eight-year-old Jonah Gallas's composition from Kitchener won third place out of 3,400 entries in an international children's music competition.

3,400 hundred entries were submitted by children from around the world

Gallas's winning composition Lighting was completed in just one day. (Submitted by Heidi Gallas)

Jonah Gallas and his family were surprised when he came in first at the regional level of the 34th annual Music for Young Children competition. When they heard he had taken third place internationally, they couldn't believe it. 

Back in March, 3,400 hundred entries were submitted to the competition by children from around the world between the ages of three to 12. 

The competition encourages young children to learn how to compose their own music. Gallas's music teacher Janice Long says it's a great opportunity for kids to showcase their talent. 

"Every year it's just so exciting to see students take ownership of a song that they have come up with" Long said. 

Music teacher Janice Long and competition winner Jonah Gallas holding up his certificates from the Music for Young Children competition. (Submitted by Heidi Gallas)

The eight-year-old had originally started working on another piece, which he intended on playing for his mother until, unexpectedly, he started playing something else.

"She got her phone, and then I didn't remember that song," Gallas said.  "So I played a different song and that's the song that she recorded." 

Afterwards both Gallas and his mother worked together to write down what he had just played. By the end of the day, his winning composition Lightning was complete. 

"It only took one day. I started it at 1:30 [p.m.], and then sort of kept playing. Then I started playing the first half of the song and then I just got into the music."

LISTEN | Hear Jonah Gallas's winning composition 'Lightning' on CBC's The Morning Edition 

Eight year old Jonah Gallas of Kitchener, Ont. is now recognized internationally as a music composer. He finished in third place out of 3,700 young people at the international Music for Young Children competition. 5:37

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

(CBC)

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