Making beautiful music

York student composer Marie-Eve Sarrazin is one of 10 winners from across Canada selected for the National Emerging Composers’ Workshop, presented by the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra (TBSO). The honour includes an opportunity for Sarrazin to hear her work performed by the TBSO, under the direction of internationally-known conductor Geoffrey Moull, during the special three-day special event, from Jan. 19-22 at the Thunder Bay Performance Hall.

Right: Marie-Eve Sarrazin

Sarrazin was awarded entry into the workshop for her work Opus 31. Inspired by her interest in developing scores for motion pictures, the six-minute piece is composed for a full orchestra. According to her program notes, Sarrazin’s goal was to fashion a “programmatic work that plays out like a medley of the various musical themes that would be featured in a motion picture – an overture if you will.” She goes on to say, “I explore a variety of timbres and achieve contrasting moods through the manipulation of tempo, dynamics, and texture. The piece could hypothetically serve to support the impressions evoked by the narrative of a film.”

The 10 emerging composers were chosen for the workshop from scores submitted which were reviewed by Moull, Calgary Opera composer-in-residence John Estacio, and Aris Carastathis, an associate professor of theory and composition at Lakehead University.

The winners will also receive professional tutelage from Estacio and Carastathis and participate in discussion within a master class format during this three-day event.

A recipient of the University of Ottawa’s Jean-Marie Beaudet Scholarship in Composition, Sarrazin has also performed at the National Art Gallery in Ottawa, Massey Hall in Toronto and the Ottawa International Jazz Festival.

She has been heard on CBC Radio as a member of the Ottawa-based Flute Rhapsody Quartet, which was formed at the request of the Outaouais Sacred Music Festival, and has performed extensively throughout the capital region.

Currently, Sarrazin is completing her master’s degree in composition in York’s Music Department where she also teaches flute. She hopes to begin doctoral studies in film scoring next year.

The workshop sessions are open to the public, giving those in attendance the rare opportunity to hear the premiere performances of the winning works of these emerging Canadian composers.

Mary-Lou Schagena, publicist in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, sent this article to YFile.