Queens County composer nominated for ECMA

Nick Moase nmoase@theadvance.ca
Published on March 3, 2014

Alasdair (Sandy) MacLean, a classical composer from Port Medway has been nominated for an ECMA.  

Alasdair (Sandy) MacLean was recently nominated by the East Coast Music Association for Best Classical Composition.

MacLean was nominated for his work The Elizabeth Bishop Suite, which was composed for Suzie LeBlanc’s CD ‘I am in need of music.’

LeBlanc was interested in the work of Elizabeth Bishop, an American poet who died in 1979.  Although Bishop was from the USA, she spent a lot of time with family in Great Village, Nova Scotia and referred to it in her poetry. 

“(LeBlanc) got interested in commissioning composers to write music for her to sing based on the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop and I was one of the composers she approached,” says MacLean.

The CD also got two other Nova Scotian composers involved in the project nominations.  LeBlanc wrote chamber orchestra music to set one of Bishop’s poems to.

MacLean is happy about his nomination.

“I’m very, very pleased… the classical composition field is a very competitive field,” says MacLean.

He’s also happy that by getting nominated, the composition gets more exposure.

East Coast Music Week is from April 2 – 6 on Prince Edward Island this year.  MacLean is attending and is excited to see old friends and colleagues.

MacLean grew up in Queens County and was a part of the local rock band - Sandy Road. 

 His love of music led him to four university degrees in various musical studies including two from Julliard School in New York.  He was the composer-in-residence for Symphony Nova Scotia from 1996-2000 and also for Debut Atlantic from 2001-2004.

MacLean moved back to Queens County in 2011 and now resides in Port Medway.