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Local musician has composition chosen for Vancouver Chamber Choir workshop

TRURO – A local musician will spend some time next month working with the Vancouver Chamber Choir.

Amy Brandon, a guitarist living in Truro, had her first composition chosen for a workshop in Halifax next month with the Vancouver Chamber Choir. Brandon composed the piece during her masters of composition studies at Ottawa University. Submitted photo

Amy Brandon, a Truro guitarist studying this year at Ottawa University, had one of her compositions chosen for the choir’s Interplay: Interactive Workshops for Composers.

“I’m studying for my masters in composition and had written a choral piece,” said Brandon, adding the Vancouver Chamber Choir had issued a call for submissions for the program.

“It’s a very well-known chorus – they sing all over the world.”

During the 2014/15 season, Interplay is being offered in two locations – Vancouver in April, and Halifax on March 9.

Brandon is one of two composers chosen to participate in the Halifax workshop.

“I think it’s a fantastic choir and this will be my first opportunity to hear my composition sung live, which will sound different than using a computer program,” she said.

The workshop will be held in the afternoon of March 9, and Brandon will have about 45 minutes to spend with the choir and conductor Jon Washburn.

After the choir sings Brandon’s composition, Brandon will then hear from Washburn.

“He will give suggestions on my piece, such as how to improve upon the piece and make it more singable,” Brandon said. “I’m looking forward to hearing the choir sing my composition, it will be such a lovely thing.”

She said she’s also looking forward to working with Washburn and feeding off the experience he, and the choir, has.

The musician used the old folk tune ‘Black Is the Color (Of My True Love’s Hair)’ as her inspiration for her composition.

“My composition is more abstract than folky, and I just started writing it. It’s a song I’ve always loved.”

In her first year of a two-year masters program, Brandon plans on finishing the second half from home.

“I like a challenge and I thought the masters program would be an interesting challenge,” she said. “I’ve always written for jazz groups, so this will give me a chance to expand on my writing.”

While she’s in Ottawa, a number of recording engineers are making use of Brandon’s recording studio – Top Secret Sounds – that she opened last year in the former Diefenbunker. She plans on expanding its use with artists when she returns.

Twitter: @TDNRaissa

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