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Fables et Fairytales: Emilie Fortin, trumpet

Émilie Fortin is an adventurous musician and teacher who explores every possible facet of the trumpet. A versatile performer, she is a freelancer for several ensembles and orchestras. She has contributed to the creation of over fifteen works internationally with various composers in an effort to enrich the repertoire of her instrument. She is also the artistic director of Bakarlari, a collective of soloists. She was a member of the band “The Funky Bastards” for 3 years, and has played with the Griffon Brass Band for 5 years. Active on the Montreal scene, she performs frequently in recital with the pianist Olivier Hébert-Bouchard and in free improvisation with the clarinetist Charlotte Layec, while perfecting her craft on the baroque trumpet with Alexis Basque. Originally from Abitibi-Témiscamingue, she studied at the Conservatory of Music of Val-d'Or with Frédéric Demers. She then received a bachelor’s degree in classical performance with Lise Bouchard at the Université de Montréal. In 2017, she completed her Masters degree at McGill University under the direction of Russell DeVuyst. Perfecting her craft with great masters such as James Watson, Karen Donnely, Thierry Champs and Peter Evans, Émilie always seeks to excel in her personal practice. It is with this in mind that she has notably participated in the soundscape Festival (Italy), Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance and Practice (Boston) and at the Toronto Creative Music Lab. She has worked with, among others, the International Contemporary Ensemble members (Banff Center for the Arts), Fifth House Ensemble (Fresh Inc. Festival) and Vinko Globokar (Laboratorium). Firmly believing that pedagogy is an integral part of performance, Émilie is a teacher in various secondary schools in the region as a specialist. She has also had the opportunity to teach the trombone, trumpet and music theory in Croix-des-Bouquets and Jacmel (Haïti) with the Ambassadors for now three years. During the 2017-2018 season, she developed her focus on community engagement and teaching with The Global Leaders program, where she was one of 35 people selected for an international cohort of enterprising young musicians. This allowed her to be a visiting professor in Bolivia (Conservatorio Plurinacional de Mùsica), Chile (Viva la Mùsica Panguipulli), Panama (Orquestra Veragüense de Vientos) and Washington (DC Youth Orchestra Program).

What is your favorite thing to do outside of music? One is hard to choose, but as soon as I can, I love riding my bike to go everywhere, and trying to best fastest as the last time! I also love doing yoga and reading, and puzzles are my guilty pleasure during holidays!

What made you want to play your chosen instrument?

I remember watching this Broadway show on television called "Blast!", about classical and less classical music hits arranged for brass and percussions. I noticed that the trumpet was often playing the melody, and it caught my ears. Also, trumpet was on many pop songs, and I tjought that it was pretty cool! When we had the trial day in the first music class, in high school, I was only able to play saxophone or trumpet, so the choice was evident!

Do you come from a musical family? 

Not at all! I'm the only artist in my family. It's pretty hard to try to explain my life as a freelancer and as a contemporary musician haha! 

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