BU Grad Student Wins Major Regional Competition

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posted December 7, 2011

BRANDON, MB — Brandon University student Jesse Plessis has won the 2012 Canadian Music Centre Prairie Region Emerging Composers Competition. His latest work for orchestra, Tender is the Night, is an elegy for a recently closed-down pub that he frequented during his undergraduate studies.

“I think this competition is a wonderful way to get young composers interested in writing for orchestra, and that the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra will advocate for the winner of this competition by performing their work is just thrilling,” said Plessis.

In fact, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra will premiere his work during the Winnipeg Symphony New Music Festival on January 30, 2012 at 8 p.m. in the Centennial Concert Hall. As an additional part of the competition’s prize, Plessis was awarded a two-week residency at the Banff Centre.

“The School of Music salutes and takes great pride in Jessie for this wonderful accomplishment,” said Dr. Michael Kim, the Dean of the School of Music. “Our students and alumni continue to distinguish themselves nationally and internationally as educators, scholars, and performers of great distinction.”

The young award-winning composer is currently working towards a Master of Music degree in piano performance with Megumi Masaki at Brandon University.

“Jesse Plessis is one of the most talented students I have worked with,” said Masaki. “Jesse is a complete artist: A thoughtful and expressive pianist, a sensitive collaborator, a conductor who commands respect to lead students and faculty, and a composer who weaves and communicates his experiences and imagination into new musical works. I congratulate Jesse on his well deserved recognition!”

As well, his arrangement of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the seminal album by The Beatles, received an acclaimed premiere in August 2011. He has been featured in concert programs at the Casalmaggiore Festival in Italy, as a guest artist with the Lethbridge Symphony, the Musaeus String Quartet, the Land’s End Chamber Ensemble, the International Piano Ensemble, and he has worked with composers John Corigliano and Marcel Bergmann. In May 2011, Plessis was a prizewinner of the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg Scholarship Competition. He is also active as a conductor and his compositions have been performed in Canada, Europe, and broadcast on CBC Radio.

“Since I began studying at the Brandon University School of Music, I have had some of the most incredible musical experiences of my entire life,” said Plessis. “This is in part due to the small class sizes, which renders the professors extremely accessible to the student body. The school also fosters a particularly strong coterie among music students, so that we are always collaborating and encouraging each other to play better, and to go farther in our music-making.”

For more information, please contact:

Joanne F. Villeneuve
Brandon University
270 – 18th Street
Brandon, MB R7A 6A9
Tel. 204-727-9762



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