Fiona Evison (b. 1965) lives in the beautiful and inspiring rural Grey-Bruce area of Ontario. She was born into a musical Scottish family who immigrated to Canada when she was a child. Music has always played an important part of her life, and she finds great satisfaction in improvising, arranging, and composition. Her graduate research into the composer’s role in community music-making resulted in an international study of different ways of working, and it affirms the special place of community composers.
Fiona especially enjoys tailoring pieces to the needs of the musicians performing her work, regardless of ability, and sharing with musicians and audiences the interesting background information and ideas that led to the composition. Throughout her musical career, she has directed and accompanied choirs and ensembles of all ages, as well as performing on piano, voice, flute, organ, handbells and percussion. She is in demand as a guest sacred musician, using these opportunities to compose something unique and meaningful for the service that incorporates local musicians.
Giving back to the community has always been important to Fiona, and she is involved with the Leith Summer Festival which features some of the finest artists performing today in Canada, in the unique venue of the Historic Leith Church.
As a composer, she believes her creativity is a divine gift, and she enjoys writing original sacred and secular chamber pieces and arranging existing ones, especially music with a Scottish or Canadian theme. She is developing an exciting musical theatre project that tells the story of the last group of Highlanders exiled to Canada during the Highland Clearances. She has also started a project involving sacred Gaelic music discovered in the Scottish National Archives. Another project involves setting Jewish poetry to music and is a merger of her lifelong interests in music, history and Jewish culture.
Known for her evocative lyrical style and text painting, her commissions have included choral settings of Canadian traditional music for various choirs, chamber works for piano and various instruments, settings of traditional Highland tunes for organ and recorder.
Her writing has been called fresh and interesting. “Fiona creates stunning word pictures as she weaves text and music together. Her lines are striking, simple and incorporate some of the old medieval modes with contemporary harmonies and sounds. The vocal lines never detract from the text, but work together perfectly to form beautiful and exquisite results.” – Linda Hawkins, Director, Georgian Bay Children’s Choir; “Very poignant settings with expressive melodic passages and carefully placed harmonic shifts” – Dr. John Burge, Queen’s University
Fiona has a Bachelor of Church Music and a Master of Arts degree in Community Music (Wilfrid Laurier University). She studies composition privately and continues to refine and expand her compositional craft. She has performed in Canada, the U.S., and Scotland. Her works have been performed by others across Canada, in the U.S., Scotland, and Asia. She is a member of the Royal Canadian College of Organists and is the Journal editor for the Association of Canadian Women Composers.
For a full listing of instrumental, choral, vocal and piano works, or to preview a score, please contact the composer at: evison01@