/ Chicago, IL
Member since April 2019
Welcome! My name is Braeden Ayres. I’m a composer, conductor, and music educator who believes that music and singing are for all people. As an artist, teacher, and conductor, my mission is to empower people, explore the human experience, and celebrate the human voice as a tool for self-expression. As a composer, my works vary widely in style, with pieces written especially for changing voices, high school choirs, and collegiate, community, and professional ensembles.
Though I’m still very much an emerging composer, I’m fortunate to have had my music premiered at national and state-level ACDA honor choirs, all-states, and at local choir concerts across the United States. My music is published with MusicSpoke, Carl Fischer, Hal Leonard Music, and Augsburg Fortress. I hold a Ph.D. in Choral Music Education (Florida State University), where my doctoral dissertation focused on choral composition for changing male voices. As such, I am a passionate advocate of adolescent music education, particularly for young men. I hold additional degrees from the University of Northern Colorado (MM, Choral Conducting) and Baylor University (BME, Music Education) and am a member of ACDA, NAfME, and ASCAP.
Before completing my doctorate, I served on the vocal faculty at Discovery Canyon Campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado, teaching 6-12 grade students with a team of exceptional educators. In my time at DCC, the campus's choral program tripled to over 500 students; over 100 singers were accepted into various Middle School All-State, High School All-State, and ACDA National Honor Choirs; and the Performing Arts Department was a finalist for the “Thomas S. Crawford Team of the Year Award." During this time, I also served as the Assistant Artistic Director of “Out Loud: The Colorado Springs Men’s Chorus” and was an inaugural board member of the Colorado Middle School All-State Choir. I'm proud to bring my passion for education into my work as a composer, as I strive to write interesting and highly-crafted music for all kinds of voices and skill levels.
I cannot tell a lie: all previous attempts to neatly and cleanly describe my style have failed. In truth, my music draws from a wealth of styles, quite deliberately. If I ever sense myself writing too many pieces in a row that sound too similar, I consciously disrupt my process to change the style of the next work. My general approach is to treat each piece as a poetic character study, like the songs of Stephen Sondheim or the photographs of Cindy Sherman. As such, I derive equal joy in writing simple, folk-like melodies; wild, polyphonic, mixed-meter works; pastiches; and everything in between. Whether I am writing for a middle school or collegiate group, however, I strive to make each song I write a unique work of bespoke craftsmanship that will appeal to singers and audiences alike.
As a conductor and music educator myself, I am passionate about creating new works which are accessible to young singers’ voices while also speaking to their diverse and powerful hearts. Though my pieces may be sung by ensembles of all ages, many are originally written for developing ensembles. I recently completed my doctoral dissertation on choral music for changing male voices (https://tinyurl.com/BraedenAyresProQuest), and this research continues to inform my craft.
If you’d like to know more about my work, I invite you to visit my YouTube page, where you can access all my latest projects (https://www.youtube.com/c/BraedenAyres), or browse the 50+ works currently available on my website, www.braedenayres.com. If you’re looking for something for your particular ensemble, feel free to reach out so that I can personally curate a few selections that might appeal to you, based on your needs, or simply say hello. I look forward to working with you and your ensemble.