VPR Classical To Showcase Burlington Student Composer

16-year-old Eileen Kocherlakota of Burlington will be featured on VPR Classical May 5-10 as part of the station’s Student Composer Showcase. 

An interview with Kocherlakota, along with her piece, “The Old Man of the Sea,” will air on VPR Classical Monday, May 5 at 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 7 at 8:30 a.m., Friday, May 9 at 4 p.m., and Saturday, May 10 at 9 a.m. VPR Classical can be heard in Burlington at 90.9 FM. The feature will also be available at

VPR Classical’s Student Composer Showcase is a collaboration with Music-COMP, a music composition mentoring program that matches aspiring students with accomplished composers and supports live performances of their work. The monthly series launched in 2013.

"VPR Classical is committed to engaging with younger audiences and showcasing talented musicians of all ages in our region," said VPR Classical Host Kari Anderson.  "It’s an honor to work with these young composers, and share the results of their hard work and their excellent music with VPR Classical listeners everywhere."

“The Old Man of the Sea” is for voice and piano. The lyrics are from a poem of the same name by James Whitcomb Riley. “The poem sounds light at first, but the words give it a deeper and darker meaning,” said Kocherlakota. “It sounded like a sea shanty when read, so that is the feeling that the music tries to evoke.” 

Kocherlakota is a junior at Burlington High School. She has been composing  music since the fifth grade. Her works have been performed by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and the Green Mountain Youth Symphony. In addition to composing music, Eileen enjoys singing, playing the violin, reading, and math.