Composition: A New love
At an early age, Brianna realized how much music could affect a person emotionally. When going to the movie theater, she began to focus more on the film's soundtrack than on the movie itself. She wanted to create her own music that would touch others and tell a story. So, beginning at age 12, she began composing her own music. She began with solo piano works. She entered the AFMC Composition competition and won first place in her age division. She continued composing, branching out into the areas of string orchestra music, choral music, band music, and full orchestral writing. She again entered the AFMC Composition competition a few years later and again won in her age division.
At Samford, Brianna continued to compose. Although she was not a composition major, she decided to show her work to the composition teachers in the music department. They were very impressed with her work and encouraged her to continue composing. In September of 2014, she was afforded the opportunity to perform her original arrangement of "It is Well With My Soul/Be Thou My Vision" for the celebrated arranger/composer, Mark Hayes in a masterclass. In December of 2014, Brianna was invited to compete in the Sybarite5 Composition Competition. Competitors were required to write a 2 minute long piece that captured the style of Sybarite5 (renowned modern string quintet). Brianna composed her piece, "The Sorrow and Rage of a Demigod" and submitted it to the competition. The piece, which is based on Homer's, The Iliad, traces the emotional journey of Achilles. In February of 2015, Sybarite5 arrived at Samford for a week long residency. She participated in a reading session with the quintet, seminars, and a masterclass. On Thursday, February 5, Brianna and several of her colleagues competed in the Sybarite5 "New Music Idol" Composition competition. After the quintet performed each of the competitor's pieces, the judges and audience voted for their favorite composition. The winner of the cometition would be performed on Sybarite5's Birmingham concert the next night. After the voting was over, Brianna was named the "Runner-up" in the competitoin. Because the voting was so close between her piece and the winner's piece, Sybarite5 decided to perform both pieces on their concert. This was a dream come true for Brianna. After many years of composing music, she was finally having the opportunity to witness the premiere of one of her works. While attending the 2015 Atlantic Music Festival, Brianna was blessed to meet several renowned composers including John Corigliano, Eric Ewazen, Dan Godfrey, Robert Paterson, Solbong Kim, Whitney George, and Sheridan Seyfried. She also had the opportunity to have lessons with Eric Ewazen, Robert Paterson, and Sheridan Seyfried. In October of 2016, Brianna was named a winner in the Birmingham Arts Music Alliance Amernet String Quartet call for scores.
Brianna is continuously composing something new. In April of 2015, her song cycle, "Portraits of the Second World War" (for soprano, violin, and piano) was premiered in music seminar at Samford University. Additionally, in May, the first movement of her piece, "Trifecta" for low brass trio and piano was also premiered in music seminar at Samford University. At Samford, Brianna studied composition with Dr. Mark Lackey. Now, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she studies with Professor Laura Schwendinger (classical composition) and Professor Johannes Wallmann (jazz composition). Within the past year, Brianna has been blessed to receive 3 premieres: "Hurakan" for wind ensemble (premiered by the Samford University Wind Ensemble), "Ascension" for string quartet (premiered by the Amernet String Quartet), and "Moonlit Waters" for flute and piano (premiered by Lauren Koehler and Brianna Ware).
Brianna with the renowned string quintet, Sybarite5, after the premier of her piece, "The Sorrow and Rage of a Demigod." February 6, 2015.
Brianna with the great American composer, John Corigliano. Atlantic Music Festival 2015.
Brianna with Mark Hayes after the masterclass that was held at Samford University on September 23, 2015.
Member of the Neume Music Ensemble
Co-Poster Designer for the UW Composition Department
Member and publisher of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP)
Publishing company: B. WARE WORKS
Member of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance (BAMA)
Honors and Awards
Winner of the 2017 Mullen Prize for Sacred Music (UW-Madison)
Chosen as a winner of the Amernet String Quartet's call for scores (BAMA, 2016)
Winner of the Samford University Wind Ensemble Composition Competition, 2016