An Owl Takes Flight: Senior Cameron Gurss’s Original Music Performed at West Orchestra Concert


Orchestra preforms The Owl Takes Flight, composed by senior Cameron Gurss.

Evelyn May, Writer

Olathe West senior Cameron Gurss has been writing and composing his own classical music since the seventh grade. Now, he’s refined his skills to create a piece appropriately entitled The Owl Takes Flight–incorporating themes from the Olathe West Fight Song and Alma Mater. 

“In the very beginning, my music was very bad, but it just takes time to develop that craft,” Gurss said. 

The Olathe West Chamber Orchestra has been rehearsing Gurss’s song for the past several weeks and the song made its debut at the May 11 orchestra concert. 

“My process is really a lot of thinking about what I want it to sound like. For a normal piece, I think of the melody or motif first. Then, I think of many different ways that I can develop that and extend that out into a full length piece,” Gurss said. 

 “For this piece, I already had the melody and motif set from the Alma Mater and Fight Song, so that part was done,” Gurss said. “And then the majority of it was just figuring out ways to develop that idea, use it in different ways and create all the things from parts.”

Gurss plans to attend UMKC next fall to double-major in music education and music composition. 

“I’m thinking of getting a job in music as well as studying composition so I can get the best of both worlds,” Gurss said. 

For Gurss, the best part of composing is when all of the pieces finally fit together to create a final product that sounds exactly how he envisioned it. 

“We started playing my music in class… And even up until now I’m still getting chills from just playing it,” Gurss said. “That’s my music that we’re playing. It’s a great feeling.”


To access Cameron Gurss’s YouTube channel, click here

To listen to the Olathe West Chamber Orchestra play The Owl Takes Flight, click here