Mines News

Release Date Thursday, July 20, 2023

South Dakota Mines Students Build Software to Connect Music Teachers and Professors with Sheet Music

South Dakota Mines students Christian Olson (left), Haakon Anderson and Chami Senarath work on their software product Score-Score inside the office of Dr. Haley Armstrong, associate professor and Music Center program coordinator at Mines.  

Finding great ensemble music that drives crowds to standing ovations is a bit of a challenge for music teachers and professors who lead bands across the country.

There is a whole world of sheet music on the market, but there is no central location where music directors can search, review and discuss sheet music with each other.

Haley Armstrong, D.M.A., associate professor and Music Center program coordinator at South Dakota Mines, presented this problem to three of her music students: Chami Senarath, Christian Olson and Haakon Anderson. The students brought a unique skillset to the table as computer science and engineering majors. Senarath, Olson and Anderson spent their senior year working on software solution to this problem, and in the process, they started a new business.

Score-Score is a database and networking application designed to aid band directors in the struggle of programming concerts with a multiplatform application that centralizes the discussion of ensemble music. The program allows directors to quickly and easily search and identify pieces based on publishing information, score analytics and demographics. It also allows directors to add, edit, discuss, rate and view pieces they and other directors have performed, creating abundant and available information for thousands of pieces.

“I have been engaged in music performances since my childhood. Thinking about integrating technology to classical music enhance the human experience in concert halls drives me and it feels like my team has a positive influence on the music industry,” says Senarath.

Besides working at Mines, Armstrong has also served as the flight commander and conductor for the United States Air Force Band in Washington D.C. Her background in both academia and in the US military gives her a unique perspective.

“This project has solidified my faith in the concept that the arts and STEM can work together and together we can impact change,” says Armstrong.

For the students, the project enabled them to use their skills as programmers in a real-world application.

Score-Score team 2“It was an awakening moment when I realized how the knowledge that I learned from my classes can be applied to the betterment of a community,” says Senarath. “I am an avid music enthusiast and, also, I enjoy developing applications. This project is a win-win for me and motivates to keep being part of it.”

Score-Score went on to take fifth place and a $1,000 prize in the student division of the 2023 South Dakota Governor’s Giant Vision Business Competition. Armstrong says she is delighted with the success of this project.

“The students have made my wild idea become a reality. Their dedication and vision have taken the project further than I could have hoped to bring new ideas and focus to an idea that would have been subpar without their expertise,” says Armstrong.

Right now, Score-Score has a focus on band music, but Anderson says there is room for growth. “This project has a potential to grow horizontally to other areas in classical music such as choir, orchestra, jazz, small ensembles and solos,” he says. “Classical music has provided to humankind for many centuries. It is time for us as computer science students to support this art to be up to date with technology to keep performing arts alive in this day and age,” Senarath adds.

The team is continuing work on the project and hopes to see it grow in the coming years.  “Our work on the business side of the project provides the opportunity to stand on its own and continue well into the future, helping a community, which is in dire need of technological support. This opportunity and the possibility of continuing to be a part of it makes the project worth the time spent,” says Olson.

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About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,493 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 98 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $70,036. For these reasons  South Dakota Mines is ranked among the best engineering schools in the country for return on investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram, and Snapchat.

Contact: Mike Ray, 605-394-6082, Mike.Ray@sdsmt.edu