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 that 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 interesting background information and ideas that led to the composition. Throughout her musical career, she has directed and accompanied ensembles of all ages, as well as performing on piano, voice, flute, organ, handbells and percussion. She is accompanist for the Oh Sing! Community Choir, and the Director of Music at Central Westside United Church. As a frequent guest musician, she enjoys composing unique and meaningful pieces that incorporate local musicians.
Fiona believes that creativity is a divine gift, and she enjoys writing original sacred and secular chamber pieces and arranging existing ones, often inspired by Scottish or Canadian themes. She is developing a project that tells the story of the last group of Highlanders exiled to Canada during the Highland Clearances, and arranging sacred Gaelic music discovered in the Scottish National Archives. She is also setting Jewish poetry to music – a merger of her 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 / organ and various instruments, and settings of traditional Highland tunes for organ and recorder, and accessible children’s choral music.
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 holds a Bachelor of Church Music (Heritage College), a Master of Arts in Community Music (Wilfrid Laurier University), and has begun a PhD in Music Education (University of Western Ontario). 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, serves on the executive of the Society of Graduate Students in Music, and a board member and 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@