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2nd Place: Javan Fales


For his special achievement, Javan submitted an original choral arrangement of “Be Thou My Vision.” It was unique, excellent, and well-presented—everything we like to see. When we talked with him, it was the first thing we asked about. Does he hope to perform it some day? How did he start composing music?

“Well, first of all, it would take a very particular choir to actually sing that arrangement,” he says, laughing. “It requires specific voices to be successful.”

Javan explained that his family got really into a cappella music, and from there he branched out to composing. He doesn’t have access to the best software and admits to an insufficient knowledge of music theory, but these hindrances haven’t kept him from pursuing this hobby. And he encourages other students to give it a go.

“Figure out your goal for a composition, and then just bang around on the piano. Just don’t forget to bring a pen and paper,” he adds with a chuckle.

Music will remain just a hobby in the future. Javan plans to attend Covenant College and double major in Political Science and Economics. His ultimate ambition is to be a Constitutional attorney.

What sparked that ambition?

“Well, I’ve always been pretty argumentative. And after taking Constitutional Law at HSLDA, it just cemented my desire to pursue law. There’s many things I’d like to help change.”

When we asked Javan if there is anything he would go back and tell himself as a freshman, he first joked, “Stop talking so much.” In all seriousness, his best advice is to find the mean between dreams and practicality.

“When choosing an area to focus on in college, pick what you want and what’s practical, and strike right in the middle.”

Javan is quick to point out he’s not leaving music behind. He hopes to start an a capella group at Covenant.

“Maybe we can manage to sing my arrangement of ‘Be Thou My Vision,’” he says.

Congratulations and best of luck, Javan!