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Forester News

Music major Julia Lewit ’21 wins All-College Writing contest

Julia Lewit ’21 won the 2019–20 All-College Writing Prize for her paper “Experimental Playing and Issues in Music History,” written for Music History I: From Chant to Bach, taught by Professor Don Meyer.

Lewit’s paper focuses on two issues: how music history relies on abstract models to describe the past, and how music historians fail to acknowledge they are participants in creating music history.

“It is immensely validating to have won this contest,” Lewit said. “As a writer, it tells me that other people appreciate what I have to say. I didn’t feel my voice was valued at my previous university, and I’m so glad to be in a place where I feel it is.”

A music major and harpist, Lewit transferred to Lake Forest College as a junior last fall from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Meyer was instrumental in her decision to attend the College.

“In general, Professor Meyer has helped me immensely as my advisor and in assisting in my transition between colleges,” Lewit said. 

The music professor also was a great support to Lewit through the writing process.

“It was a funny coincidence that he initially pushed me to go in a meta-historical direction with my paper, which I was unwilling to do. Then, once I had finally settled on experimental playing as a topic, I was suddenly finding all these articles that basically necessitated a meta-historical approach. I talked with him about this aspect of my paper as well as others as they came up,” she said. 

Lewit’s winning essay will be published in the Lake Forest Papers, an online journal that has included winners of the All-College Writing Prize and the First-Year Writing Prize since 1983. As the latest prize winner, Lewit also receives academic distinction at the appropriate Honors Convocation and a cash prize.

—Peter DiPietro ’20