Laura Hawley is a Canadian composer, conductor and pianist, known for her compelling approach to musical leadership and artistic programming, multi-faceted community engagement, and distinctive compositional style.
Laura Hawley’s compositions have been commissioned and performed internationally for over 15 years. She has composed works for ensembles across Canada, including Elektra Women’s Choir, Pro Coro Canada, Inuksuk Drum Dancers, Canadian Chamber Choir, Spiritus Chamber Choir, Orpheus Choir, and Cantiamo Girls Choir. Her setting of the French poem Au champ d’honneur is performed annually on national broadcast by the Ottawa Children’s Choir and Canadian Armed Forces Band as part of the Remembrance Day Ceremony at the National War Memorial. Her piece, Alhamdoulillah, became internationally famous when it went viral on YouTube with the title “Welcome to Canada Syrian Refugees” in December 2014. Her multi-movement work for mixed choir and instrumental ensemble, In Song, was recorded by the Canadian Chamber Choir in 2019 with bass clarinettist Jeff Riley, percussionist Beverly Johnston, and violist Keith Hamm.
While Ms. Hawley writes for many of Canada’s top ensembles, her unique understanding of developing ensembles and sensitivity to a commissioner’s vision has established her as a widely sought composer for educational ensembles as well. As result, Laura has written a variety of instrumental and choral works for children, youth, and developing adult musicians; works that lend themselves well to educational growth.
Laura is the founding artistic director of Hypatia’s Voice Women’s Choir of Ottawa, and has worked as a conductor with a wide variety of community-based choral and orchestral ensembles throughout Canada including CAMMAC, Music & Beyond (Ottawa), Cantiamo Girls Choir, Ottawa Children’s Choir, Choirs Ontario, Choir Alberta, Nova Scotia Choral Federation, and Choral Canada. She was recently appointed singer, pianist, and featured composer with the Canadian Chamber Choir and is active as a clinician for groups across the country. In 2014, 2016, and 2018 she was nominated for the prestigious “Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting.”
Laura Hawley has taught at the University of Ottawa School of Music, Carleton University School for Studies in Art & Culture (Music), and Concordia University (Edmonton). She teaches piano, theory, harmony, history, and composing/arranging in her studio.
Ms. Hawley holds an ARCT from the Royal Conservatory of Music and completed a Bachelor of Music in piano performance and Master’s in music theory at University of Ottawa. She is currently based in Edmonton where she divides her time between composing, conducting, and touring.