Northwest NEWS

April 5, 1999


Young Woodinville composer wins awards

Krystal Barghelame

An original composition by Krystal Barghelame is now competing at the national level.

   Krystal Barghelame, the daughter of Si and Roberta Barghelame of Woodinville, recently won first place in the State of Washington and first place in the Western Regionals for her original piano composition. Her music now qualifies to compete at the national level.

   The National Federation of Music Clubs is sponsoring the young composer contest. To enter, the composer must provide an original score along with a cassette recording of the performance of the music.

   Krystal indicated that the hardest part was learning to play her own composition, since it is so complex. Her creation, Nightmare in the City: A Toccata, is a very fast-moving, contemporary piece marked by dissonance and varying rhythm changes.

   When asked about her process of creating music, Krystal commented that it just begins as bits of ideas or melodies that eventually develop into a theme. Inspiration can come from anywhere. For this particular composition, she said, "I'm surprised by it myself, since I don't generally favor dissonant music, but somehow this just seemed to write itself.

   "I think there is some connection, however, with the concussion I received this fall while playing soccer. I was the goalie for the Crossfire Sounders and was really enjoying it untiI I got knocked unconscious at one of the games. When I came to, it was the scariest moment of my life. Not only was the pain unbearable, but somehow I just couldn't clear my head. I knew I was awake, but I didn't know where I was or why I was there.

   "I was living in a nightmare and I couldn't escape. It took a week for my head to clear. This music reminds me of that experience, so I think it's the inspiration for the piece."

   Krystal has started working on her next project, which she claims is more romantic and lyrical in nature.

   When asked what she liked best about winning the awards, Krystal said, "I've always enjoyed making my own music and it's really nice that other people like my music, too. I have to admit, though, that it's pretty cool to be first in state. When my brother was in high school, he won a state championship in tennis. Now I have a first place, too--for my music."

   Though Krystal has been writing various tunes since grade school, this is her first full-length endeavor. She is now thirteen years old and has been studying piano for four years along with composition during the past year. Her teacher for both piano and composition is Sharon Van Valin.

   Aside from her music, Krystal enjoys sports and plays soccer with her school team and with the Woodinville Spirit. Currently, she is playing lacrosse at school and in the summer, she plays tennis with her brother, Dan, who is now a sophomore at Stanford. She also enjoys kayaking and snowboarding. Krystal is in the seventh grade at the Overlake School.