Erica Zhang: “Under the Wings of Angels”


“Music is an international language, and it’s a way to bring us together through a time of uncertainty,” Erica Zhang, 7th grade Bernardo student and District winner of the Reflections contest, stated.

Her musical composition, “Under the Wings of Angels” was her first composition. She explained, “The world is changing tremendously and it’s hard to process everything at once, so I expressed my feelings through music because it can be used to say things words cannot describe. In the beginning, there’s melancholy in the song. At the climax, the angels arrive and bring tranquility to Earth, meaning that things will eventually get better, and now in 2021, it already is!”

Erica first learned of the reflections contest in the 4th grade. She said that her composing skills weren’t very good at the time but planned to improve. In the fall of 2020, she finally felt like she had the ability to compose a song. So, she entered the reflections contest. It was a contemporary song focused on the story of getting through the pandemic.

One of the main factors in writing the song, to her, was music theory. She described, “Music theory teaches you about how music is written and how to interpret musical notes and structures. I started learning music theory about 3 years ago, and I am almost done learning all of it.”

Now, when discussing the most challenging parts of being a composer, she responds, “remembering the melodies.” Sometimes, she’ll get a good melody for a song, but it slips out of her head if she doesn’t immediately write it down. As for the rewarding aspects, she replied, “getting to express my feelings through music, enjoying my own music, and seeing others enjoy my music.”

When asked what composition meant to her, Erica said, “I am more leaning towards having composing as a side shuttle/hobby rather than a career, but I would never want to stop composing.  I am also planning to upload some videos of my compositions and me playing different genres of music on the piano on Youtube during the summer to do as a hobby.”

For Erica, music composition is more than a process, it is a language. As a final statement, she says, “Composing music means a lot to me because I get to express my own feelings through my music, and language isn’t a barrier in music because anyone can understand it, so it’s what I like to call: an international language.”

Here’s the link to her song: