Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

March 8, 2012

In tune with young composer

By Judy Wakefield
Staff Writer

With school and community theater so popular in town, many singers and dancers have shown a winning style on Andover stages. You may not always hear about the behind-the-scenes crew, but of course they matter just as much to a production.

Dylan Linkin, a seventh-grader at Wood Hill Middle School, is among them.

While a shy demeanor may make him seem unlikely to go out for a school play, he not only does, he brings a variety of talent.

Dylan is a piano player and composer who composed the recent Wood Hill production of "Beauty and the Beast." He's a five-year Treble Chorus member who really enjoys singing.

But piano playing and composing top his chart of most interesting things to do.

"It's just really exciting to compose," he said.

Dylan said he's currently working on another composition that will be submitted to his school's talent show in June.

"It's a pop song with a good melody in the background," he said. "It's just a lot of fun to work on it. I like the freedom of that."

Dylan started playing piano at age 5. His mother, Wendy Linkin, is a piano teacher who teaches general music for the Hamilton-Wenham school district. By chance, Andover Superintendent of Schools Marinel McGrath hired her when McGrath ran the Hamilton-Wenham school district. A piano lesson with Wendy Linkin was among last week's silent auction items at The Treble Chorus of New England's "First Annual Spring Gala."

Mom and son don't play piano together like they used to, now that Dylan is a teenager. Garage Band, his mom's free music software from Apple, gets Dylan most interested these days. He uses it for composing songs.

"Composing is an expression of self. That's what I'm into," Dylan said.