Sy Brandon with the Silverwind Duo


From performances of his music on NPR’s “Performance Today” to the use of his music on TV’s “Animal Planet” and MTV’s “Never Before Scene”, Sy Brandon’s compositions and arrangements are as varied as they are accessible. His versatile ease in composing effectively for young musicians as well as professionals and his ability to utilize jazz and folk music in addition to writing in more abstract styles, enables his music to meet the needs of a wide variety of performers. Conductor, Robert Hart Baker writes, “His music is well-crafted and has maintained his desired artistic content without sacrificing the realistic aspects of orchestration." Tom Everett, bass trombonist and Harvard University Band Director writes, "I admire Dr. Brandon's success with the lyrical qualities of the solo instrument without sacrificing rhythmic interest" and conductor, Larry Newland describes his music as "stirring, well written, and highly effective with its audience." His music has been performed live and via broadcast throughout the United States and abroad, including performances by the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force Bands.

Sy Brandon has received numerous awards including first prizes in the WITF-FM's 25th Anniversary Composition Contest, the El Dorado Sacred Music Composition Contest, Franklin and Marshall College’s Wind Ensemble Composition Contest, and the New England String Ensemble Composition Competition. He has received numerous commissions for his music from organizations such as the Boise Philharmonic, York Symphony Orchestra, the Twentieth Moravian Music Festival, as well as numerous professional musicians and school music organizations. In 2010, he was awarded a commission from the Arizona Commission on the Arts to compose the band composition celebrating the Arizona Centennial during 2011-12. He was a finalist for the 2013 American Prize in chamber music composition and a semifinalist for the 2013 American Prize in band music composition. In 2012, he was a semi-finalist for the American Prize in both the orchestral and choral division. He has been a recipient of an ASCAP Special Award annually since 1998.

His music has been recorded by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra on the Albany Records Label, the Philharmonia Bulgarica and the Kiev Philharmonic on the ERM Label, Emeritus Recordings, the Contemporary Record Society, and by the Swiss Duo Dilemme on the Arizona University Label. Trombone Association Publishing, the Theodore Presser Co., and Co-Op Press publish his music. His book, “A Composer’s Guide to Understanding Music with Activities for Listeners, Interpreters, and Composers” is published by Co-op Press.

Sy Brandon (b. 1945 in New York, NY) holds the rank of professor emeritus of music from Millersville University, Millersville, PA where he taught low brass, composition, orchestration, music history, electronic music, and music industry for twenty-four years. He received his B.S. and M.S. in music education from Ithaca College and his A. mus. D. in composition from the University of Arizona. His composition teachers include Warren Benson, Elie Siegmeister, and Robert McBride.