PVCC Alumnus Orchestrates Dreams into Reality

Monday, June 24, 2024
PVCC Alumnus Orchestrates Dreams into Reality

Brandon Berg, Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC) Fine Arts alumnus and current music student at Arizona State University (ASU), is poised to make waves in the world of orchestral composition. For his capstone project as a senior at ASU, Berg undertook the monumental task of composing, orchestrating, coordinating and recording a 40-piece orchestra in a one-day event in April. 

With volunteer musicians from ASU’s symphony orchestra and wind ensemble, Berg rehearsed and recorded with woodwinds, brass, strings and piano in four separate sessions over the course of 12 hours. Additionally, he played and recorded the percussion portion of the composition on a separate day. Now in the early stages of mixing the recordings into one harmonious composition, Berg intends to create a truly immersive auditory experience for listeners. 

“I’ve pushed the limits of everything I can do as an undergrad,” said Berg, emphasizing his goal was not only to succeed in this endeavor but to create a fun, educational experience for all of the volunteers involved.

Berg succeeded; the participants loved it, with many of them volunteering their talents for future projects.

Pianist, Taison Roddy, who performed at the recording session and a close friend of Brandon added, “I had a great time not only playing Brandon’s piece, but also experiencing the inner workings of the studio for the first time. Everyone (including myself) was happy to be there and to contribute in any way they could.”

“Brandon’s musical composition and subsequent recording session was a very complex project, bringing together faculty, staff and students from three music programs (PVCC, ASU-Tempe, and ASU-Downtown),” explained Chris Scinto, division chair, PVCC Fine and Performing Arts. “Our faculty team, consisting of Dr. Brett Reed, John Keenan and myself were honored to be part of the process as recording engineers and producers. Brandon did a wonderful job communicating his ideas musically through his orchestral composition to the musicians, as well as providing outstanding project leadership coordinating details for the recording process including pre-production, recording and post-production.”

This isn’t the first time Berg has been praised for his talent and leadership. In 2020 as a student at PVCC, Berg was selected to perform with the 2022 Young Adult Honors Performance Series at Musikverein in Vienna, Austria. Playing percussion with the Young Adult Honors Wind Ensemble, the experience was an honor limited to the highest-rated, 18-to-25-year-old instrumentalists from around the world.

In 2021, Berg earned his Associates of Arts, Fine Arts in Music from PVCC. Last month, he graduated from ASU with his Bachelor of Arts degree in Popular Music as well as his AAS in Music Business, and AAS in Audio Production Technologies both from PVCC. Berg plans to continue his studies at ASU in the  percussion program, while applying to the Screen Scoring Masters Program at the University of Southern California (USC). He also intends to use the final score of his composition as part of his application to USC, as well as shopping out the showcase score for future job opportunities.

Berg’s awe-inspiring endeavor has garnered a lot of attention and an experience he won’t soon forget, adding, “I am super grateful to everyone that was involved – from my instructors and mentors to my family and all of the volunteers who supported this crazy idea. I’m humbled by those who believed in me and my project.”