Patrick Rooney’s first experience with writing music happened at the age of fourteen. At this point, he was only writing simple songs he could play on his guitar and sing. After spending about a year working on writing and promoting these simple songs, a friend convinced him to join choir in his sophomore year of high school. He was sold on choir music immediately. His first choral composition was an arrangement of Amazing Grace, which was written the summer following his sophomore year. Patrick showed this arrangement to the director of the high school’s top choral ensemble, of which he had now become a member. The piece was performed at the St. Olaf college chapel a few months later on the choir’s tour there.
In the process of arranging Amazing Grace, Patrick discovered what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. So throughout high school he continued composing, and learning all he could about music. He participated in two years of Colorado&rs1uo;s All-State Choir, became section leader of his high school ensemble, and by the end of high school, he had conducted his choir’s performance of one of his original choral pieces, Ashes to Ashes. He also received a performance of a piece for Piano, Cello, and Flute written for the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Young Composer’s Summer program.
Rooney began his collegiate musical studies at the University of Northern Colorado in the Fall of 2010. In March of 2011, he was declared the winner of the Ars Nova Singers’s 2011 Colorado Composers Competition. As part of the reward for this win, the Ars Nova Singers, who many regard as one of the best professional choirs in the state and rocky mountain region, performed his winning piece, Winter Stars, 3 months later at their 25th anniversary concert.
Rooney attends the University of Northern Colorado pursuing a degree in Music Composition and Vocal Performance. He hopes to learn as much as he can while working towards finishing his degree at UNC in order to set himself up to pursue composition in graduate school, and hopefully as a career after that.