Music Major Spreads Creative Wings with ‘Butterfly Effect’ Composition

  • By cvbizz
  • April 1, 2021
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You might call Willie Cornish ’22 top brass – a musician with an ear for marching into leadership.

Director of Athletic Bands Jay Bocook recalls when the university’s pandemic protocols last winter left the concert band down to one tuba player.

“Well, Willie said, ‘I’ll do it. I’ll learn to play to tuba,’” Bocook says. “It’s quite a sacrifice for somebody to stop playing their main instrument for a while to learn a brand new one – tuba of all things, very different from French horn – just to help out the band program.”

Willie Cornish ’22.

Cornish, you see, started playing horn in junior high school because he liked its sound better than the trumpet, which he picked up in fourth grade. Now, Bocook says, “At least we have a bass instrument because he’s back there.”

And on April 13, Cornish will present his composition, “The Butterfly Effect,” during Furman Engaged , a virtual celebration this year of the immersive learning experiences available through The Furman Advantage. At the center of the day’s activities will be the public sharing of students’ work, representing the final step of these deep learning experiences, which include internships, research, service learning, study away, creative projects, first-year writing seminars and capstone experiences.

This year, more than 650 students, including Cornish, will share their experiences.

In his notes about his six-minute piece, he cites the “metaphor of a small action, such as a butterfly flapping its wings, completely altering the direction and behavior of a

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