Elise's Bio

Elise Letourneau is an award-winning composer, and an accomplished songwriter, multi-instrumentalist performer, arranger, and educator.

An associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre, Elise won the prestigious Ruth Watson Henderson composition competition, the Choral Canada (ACCC) composition competition, and the inaugural Diane Loomer award for choral composition. For four years running she was shortlisted as a finalist for The American Prize in choral composition. Blurring the lines between classical, jazz, and popular music, her compositions have been performed internationally, by well-respected ensembles including the Vancouver Chamber Choir, Canada’s National Youth Choir, the Toronto Children’s Chorus, The Salt Lake Choral Artists, the Cantiamo Girls’ Choir, and The Bach Music Festival of Canada choir and orchestra. Soloists who have performed her music include Colin Ainsworth, Leslie Fagan, and Marcus Nance. She is currently writing a multi-movement choral work about the unique ecosystem of Point Pelee and Essex County. 

Elise maintains an active performance schedule as a solo artist, with The Fieldown Singers, and with Glamour Profession (a Steely Dan tribute band). She has shared a stage with Brian Browne, Paula Cole, Bob Dorough, Sheila Jordan, Janet Lawson, Janis Siegel, and others. She teaches composition, piano, voice, flute, and ukulele at Alcorn Music Studios, and she is the director of the Ottawa Singer-Songwriter Camp. Elise directs Vox Eclectica Women's+ Choir, Big Soul Project community choir, and she founded and directed Canada’s first community jazz choir, Capital Vox. She is on the music faculty at Carleton University. She has released 6 CDs and 3 MP3 collections. 

Elise is a graduate of Berklee College of Music (Boston MA), and earned a M.Ed. specializing in creative arts and learning at Lesley College (Cambridge MA). 

In other corners of her life, Elise is a fibre artist, creating wall hangings and installations. She sells dog sweaters and pet beds of her own design via her market booth, Love That Doggie. She also gains great peace and pleasure working with her plants, both indoors and out, and has a particular interest in herb gardening. She lives in Ottawa ON with her husband, Tim Bedner. 

Discography: 
The Fieldown Sessions - The Fieldown Singers 
The Glimmer Mass – The Fieldown Singers 
Winter 1 Collection – The Fieldown Singers 
Spirit 1 Collection – The Fieldown Singers 
The Long & Winding Road – Brian Browne & Elise Letourneau 
Requiem for Fourteen Roses – choral work – 2 CDs 
Capital Vox Sings Elise Letourneau – choral works 
Pas de deux – Elise Letourneau & Harry Pickens 
I Will Sing for You – Elise Letourneau & band 

“Elise Letourneau capitalizes on her active background in the jazz field, while also displaying considerable skill writing academically/classically oriented music. Letourneau writes with vivid imagination, confidence, and a willingness to try new things in the choral idiom.” 
– Giselle Wyers, Chair of Voice & Choral, University of Washington School of Music 

“With a distinct compositional profile, generated by a fascinating choice of texts, the choral music of Elise Letourneau is melodious, inevitably memorable, and always accessible.” 
– Judging Panel, The American Prize in Choral Composition