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"I am the director that commissioned "Wu" for my 7th-grade band this year. "Wu" was the best composition I've performed in 15 years of teaching. Most importantly, it will be the best purchase and teaching tool you'll give to your group - REAL music for a young ensemble! Sincerely," Andrea Runfola, Clarence, NY Andrea Runfola, Clarence, NY
Check out the "Stories" created by kids below...
On 18 Apr 2017, at 10:30 AM, James Byrn wrote:
I backed into a dumpster in the park after Grayson's baseball practice on Saturday. I had to take yesterday off to get my car into the shop. I gave my students a writing assignment. The assignment was to write a story that is to be accompanied by WU. I have picked the top three stories and attached them to this e-mail. Could you please read them and pick your favorite?
1. Sorry about your accident.
2. I am absolutely floored by these Stories.
3. Although, yes, I do have personal favorites… there is no way I can “decide” who who should “win.” Why? Because it is Music. And Music, the same piece, has triggered all of these immensely cool thoughts! I mean some of these should be filmed! So, I would say this:
4. From adversity has come coolness. A car accident has delivered Creativity. I think everyone should be given “the award.”
5. Here are the honorable mentions!
Dalea: For observing Kindness in Music. "The Kindness in Music Award."
Carrie: For observing that Music, like Love, exceeds the surface. “The Nobility of Music Award.”
Rian: For creating a darned Cool Story! “The Dance of the Wu Li Masters in Music Award."
Dalea's Dragon Story
Once upon a time, there was a dragon with a beautiful tail. His tail was long and decorated with beautiful jewels. All the townspeople were jealous of the dragon because of his tail. They wanted to kill the dragon so that they could gain the jewels of his tail. They plotted against him and made plans.
One day, the dragon was sleeping peacefully in his cave. All of the sudden, the townspeople rushed in with pitchforks and torches aimed towards the dragon. The dragon did not want to hurt any of the townspeople so he tried to fly away. As he took off, a pitchfork was thrown into his wing injuring him. He tried to get as far as possible, but eventually had to settle down. Luckily, the townspeople were unable to find the dragon where he had relocated. As the dragon heard the people yelling and searching for him, he began to weep. However, one townsperson suddenly emerged in front of him. Worried, he backed away and stood firm against the person. It was a little girl. The girl simply smiled full of joy and ran to the dragon to hug him. Surprised, the dragon accepted her hug and tore off a jewel from his tail to give to her. Then, he urged her to return to her family. After she had left, the dragon became sad at realizing the friend that he could have had if the girl had stayed with him.
Suddenly, all the townspeople emerged surrounding the dragon. At first, the dragon got ready to take off, but then he saw the little girl. She waved at him excitedly telling the people how great he was. When she showed the people, they all got happy seeing how kind the dragon had been to the little girl. Because of this kind act, the townspeople decided to accept the dragon. He promised to defend their town and even offered a free jewel to each family. However, all the people denied his offer of a jewel in order to repay the damage which they had inflicted upon his tail. Instead, they bandaged his tail and helped him to heal it. Both the dragon and the townspeople helped each other to better their lives. And they all lived happily ever after.
Carrie's Warrior Story
Once upon a time, there was a great warrior. He defended the land with all of his might, defeating all who challenged him. At least he thought that he could defeat everyone. One day a beautiful woman came to challenge the warrior. He thought nothing of her because of how weak she appeared to be, and quickly dismissed her with a wave. She told him to not be deceived by appearances as she turned into a glorious dragon with jade scales.
The warrior was quick to raise his sword and fight her, however, he was quickly outmatched by the dragon. The dragon breathed flames at the warrior before he had time to raise his shield, but to his surprise the flames were not hot. When he opened his eyes, he too was a large dragon with brass scales. The sorceress dragon turned back into a beautiful woman and told the warrior, “when someone learns to love you past your appearance; then you will turn back into a man.”The dragon, grief-stricken at his predicament, stayed away from civilization for many years until everyone had thought the great warrior had died in the wars waging in the north.
However, one day a wounded young soldier came across the warrior’s hut seeking shelter. The dragon came back from his day roaming the forest to find the soldier, soundly sleeping in the warrior’s bed. He woke to a giant eye peeking through the window at him. He was surprised and afraid, but to his surprise the dragon nudged a bundle of cloth and leaves through the window. The soldier took the items and applied them to his wounds. He found he dragon to be careful and gentle and stayed with him for protection against the troops of enemy soldiers that patrolled the woods while he healed. After healing, the soldier decided to stay with the dragon, as he had grown to enjoy his company. As he told the dragon this, the dragon turned back into the warrior that he once was. As soon as he could walk and talk, the warrior enveloped the young boy into a hug and started to cry. “My son.”
Rian's Dance Story
A Dance of the Wu Li Master
Sophie had been training for a moment exactly like this. All those years practicing martial arts and light magiks, fusing the two separate fighting styles and creating a hybrid kind of art. It was almost like dancing, according to some people. Using movement and word, she could defeat any opponent. She always had. She wasn't arrogant about it though. She learned from every opponent, finding flaws in what she did and correcting them. She was trying to become a master in her own unique art that was devoid of masters. And now, a great challenge had appeared. It was the only thing she could think of as a test to become a master. Now was the time to prove herself.
A mysterious force has presented itself. It's been tormenting the people of the city for awhile now, but was only just found to be an actual person. A man was terrorizing the citizens, and had to be stopped. Sophie's mission was to stop this man. Intel has suggested that he has set up base in an old abandoned church, away from the city. She began her trek awhile ago, and will arrive soon. The church was even in her sight. A large, gray, gothic church, with crumbling columns and shattered windows.
She approached the church, only to have the doors swing open by themselves. Inside, she saw a single man, standing below a statue of the churches god. It was just a large room that separated them. "Come on in," she heard him say from across the room. She didn't have any other choice really, so she did as he said.
She approached the man and asked him,"Are you the one who's been terrorizing the citizens?" The man remained looking away and said,"Yes, that was me. I'm not afraid to admit it. I'm needed to test myself." Sophie was confused by this."What do you mean you needed to test yourself?" She inquired.
The man stood up and turned around. When he did, she could see his eyes. They were completely black and soulless. The tips of his fingers had turned a deep purple color, and he seemed to give off a blackish mist from his feet. He smiled and said,"My name is Hei'an, and I've been waiting to for you to arrive. I've trained myself in the magiks of darkness, and through the darkness, I've seen you. I decided that defeating you would prove that I am a master of the dark magiks. So I lured you here by using our common goal; to become a master of our invented art. Do you accept my challenge?"
Sophie could see that this man was strong, but she knew that he needed to be stopped. And he was right, she wanted to be a master, and fighting a dark magiks user, the opposite of light magik, would surely be a challenging enough feat to do it. He was smart. He knew this would work. "I accept your challenge Hei'an. What are your conditions?"
He held up two fingers. "I have two simple rules for this. One; don't hold yourself back. Two; only one of us can leave this church alive." He grinned, eager to show his skills. "Shall we start?"
She gave a short nod, and prepared her stance. They didn't need to speak anymore. They both knew why they were there, and both knew the stakes. Now, it was simply a matter of who has trained themselves better. He prepared himself as well. It was time.
Sophie always thought the analogy of her fighting style to dance was as accurate as you can get. Especially since every time
She fought or sparred, a song would always play in her head. A strange song, that went always went with her movements. A song popped into her head now even. One she'd never heard, but she went along with it.
Hei'an began swaying and chanting words. Then, a black miasma poured from his hand, enveloping his legs and making him float. They then circled around each other, each waiting for the first move. He made the first attack, shooting a clump or dark miasma at Sophie. She dodged, only to have to dodge another. Another two flew by, each only barely missing her. Then, she shot a beam of light out of her hand, colliding with a dark ball. It hung in place, both magiks trying to overpower the other. Then Hei'an shot another ball and canceled out both attacks.
Sophie went on the offense. She shot a burst of light, temporarily blinding him, and closed the distance between them. Then she started to attack him head on, fists flying. She got a few hits in before he started retaliating. He defended himself from her rain of blows, and waited. Then, he found an opening and struck her, sending her back a little. Then Sophie charged her fist with light energy, and punched forward. Hei'an responded with his own charged fist, colliding the two between them. She panicked; she could feel him beginning to overpower her. She tried to punch while they were locked, but he matched that punch perfectly as well. Then he pushed out a sudden burst of dark magik, sending her stumbling back and giving him an opportunity. He got up close, and punched as hard as he could, sending pain through Sophie's ribs. She pulled back, stunned and out of breath.
Hei'an took this opportunity. He rushed forward, and struck her arm. Then he punched her chest. It was a flurry of punches, some charged and some not. Then he slowed down for four punches, and uppercutted her across the room using a punch and darkness hybrid attack. She fell on the ground, unable to get up. Hei'an was disappointed. "I thought I said no holding back. I've seen you do better than this! Get up! Prove yourself worthy of the power and skill you possess!"
The song in her head slowed down and got quiet and soft. She was face down on the floor, in too much pain to get up. She thought to herself, "Is this the end? The hero goes to save the citizens and fails? She stayed where she was. Does she even have the power left to stand up? She could feel the dark power crawling up her, destroying her will. Can she even go on?
She opened her eyes, determined to get a view of the world before going, when she noticed something. She wasn't bleeding at all. Miasma flowed where she should be wounded. She knew what was going on, and she knew how to stop it. She radiates her light from her body, dimming the miasma. Hei'an stopped, surprised. Then she multiplied her light, blowing the miasma away and brightening her confidence again. She stood up, and looked him right in the eye. "I am worthy of my power. I honed it myself, and built on it from scratch. I made myself I to what I am today through hard work. Im not done yet Hei'an." She shot a beam of light at his feet, dispersing the darkness and bringing him back down. He tripped and fell. He got back up quickly, but she could see a spark of fear in his pitch black eyes. "I was holding back. But not any longer." She said. The music got louder again "Prepare yourself for round two!"
Hei'an hurriedly prepare himself, then shot forward, striking harder and faster than before. She mirrored him, dodging and attacking. Then their fists collided again. This time, she didn't feel a resistance, and punched him backwards. She advanced, raining down light and strikes. He defended himself, but he was breaking. She knew how to finish him off. She turned and stepped back a bit, then flipped around and shot a light beam forward. Hei'anan mirrored it, colliding with each other. They each pushed for dominance. Then, she seperated her hands, and hit him with another beam. Once, he was surprised. Twice, he was scared. Fourth and fifth, he was terrified. Then, one last burst threw him back, tiring him and knocking the black right out of his eyes. She walked forward, and stared down at the defeated warrior, the music in her head ending.
"You weren't your best, I can tell. Since you violated a rule, I call this match off, and shall leave. Hone your strength, and face me again." She said. Then she walked away, finished with her mission. She was a true master of her dance.