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Senior Music Composition Student Earns Scholarship to Study in Paris

Concordia University senior music composition major Benjamin MacInnes (’13) has been accepted to the prestigious European American Musical Alliance composition program this summer in Paris, France. In addition, MacInnes received the organization’s top scholarship, the EAMA/Michael Lobenko Scholarship.

“Paris will be an opportunity to study music intensively with instructors of world-wide renown,” MacInnes said. “The Julliard and Paris Conservatory faculty are some of the most respected music educators and composers and earth, and the composers that I will be studying with are vastly accomplished. Being able to study music under them in a very close-quarters environment will be a learning experience most people can only dream of in the music world.”

In its 18th year, the four-week EAMA Summer Music Program provides intensive coursework in the fundamental tools of musical understanding – counterpoint, keyboard harmony, analysis, choral singing and musicianship classes. The program offers study taught by professors from The Juilliard School, Indiana University, Mannes College of Music, Westminster Choir College, Peabody Conservatory, San Francisco Conservatory, the Paris Conservatory, the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris and La Schola Cantorum. 

Students must apply for study to the composition program by sending a score and recording of a recent original composition. MacInnes submitted his “Suite on a Theme of a Canon” for violin and keyboard which was showcased at his Senior Recital on April 21. 

Concordia music instructor Abbie Betinis has taught MacInnes in private composition lessons since 2011 and has been impressed with the musical knowledge, creativity and storytelling of his compositions. 

“I’m so excited for him to have this opportunity to study in Paris,” Betinis said. “He has made tremendous progress here at Concordia and I think he’s ready to ‘fly away’ and build on that core musicianship with an increased confidence and drive. His music is expressive and crafted, even as he starts to uncover his own compositional voice.”

The majority of music MacInnes composes is chamber music, from string quartets to guitar lullabies. He has also written for orchestras and has expressed interest in writing for choir ensembles. MacInnes is graduating from Concordia University in May. 

Sample some of MacInnes' music at his YouTube site.

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