Sy Brandon

From Wind Repertory Project
Sy Brandon


Sy Brandon (b. 24 June 1945, New York, N.Y.) is an American composer and educator.

Sy was exposed to big band arranging during his high school years. The thrill of hearing something that he created was so magnificent, that he decided to begin composing music of his own. Dr. Brandon received his B.S. and M.S. degrees 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.

Prof. Brandon holds the rank of professor emeritus of music from Millersville University, Millersville, Penn., where he taught low brass, composition, orchestration, music history, electronic music, and music industry for twenty-four years.

From performances of his music on NPR’s Performance Today and APR’s Pipedreams to the use of his music on TV’s Animal Planet and MTV’s Never Before Scene, 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.

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 that include 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 has been a recipient of an ASCAP Special Award annually since 1998.

Brandon is the author of the book A Composer’s Guide to Understanding Music with Activities for Listeners, Interpreters, and Composers.

Works for Winds