Spencer Lemann

Anyone who has ever known me would tell you that music is a huge part of who I am. I’m told that in pre-school, I was so consumed with music that by pre-K my school decided to lock up the instruments for all but two hours a day in the hope that I would develop other interests. Instead, I used pots, pans, sticks and cups, etc. -  even bouncing balls - to create other musical instruments. By the spring, the school gave up, and the real instruments were set free.  

At age 3, to my parents’ surprise, I begged to take violin lessons, and did so for several years. Soon after starting violin lessons, I taught myself ukulele, and shortly moved up to guitar and bass. 

My guitar lessons started by poaching a few minutes from my Dad's guitar teacher, as bribery to leave them alone, and soon I was having my own bass/guitar lessons. Along with studying guitar, bass, and drums, at age 8 I started with Join the Band, where over the next seven years I learned a set of new rock and blues songs every eight weeks, and performed them at venues all over LA. All along, I was hearing classical music, which fills our house as it is a passion of my father’s. Not long after starting Join the Band, I co-wrote what I consider my first good song.  Some of my performances, including performances of my original songs, can be found on YouTube. SoundCloud has been an amazing platform to share my music, and meet and collaborate with other musicians in many genres from all over the world.  Currently, I am in the LA Philharmonic’s Associate Composer program for the second year, and the Young Musicians’ Foundation Composers Workshop, as well as a being a member of the Colburn School’s Saturday 1:00 p.m. Jazz Band and my school’s honors jazz band, and of course, last summer’s Sunset ChamberFest, which was a great experience. I am also a member of the Tri-M Society and Community Service Honor Society at my school, which requires at least 100 service hours beginning in high school. Along with playing for many charity events, I have been committed to and deeply involved with Music Mends Minds (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/memory-misses-beat-music-can-offer-dementia-patients-new-meaning/). I have always loved sharing and engaging people with music, and I strongly feel that it makes peoples’ lives better; it definitely helps me get through difficult times. Finally, I enjoy tinkering and building things, and to this end, in middle school, when I was part of the STEAM program, I designed and built my own electric guitar. While I had previously made other instruments, this was the first one that I had built completely from scratch. I have gone on to make more instruments, which I find fascinating and rewarding. Composition has become increasingly important in my life, and I am so happy to have the opportunity to participate in Sunset ChamberFest again.