WCSU Alumni News (Front cover story): Vol. 10 no 2- "Where Music Takes Her": Brianne Chasanoff's Dual CareerHow long have I been singing? Well...Brianne Chasanoff '03, just off the stage after doing a set at a local coffeehouse, settles into a brief but thoughtful silence. She has to reach back to her childhood for an answer to the question. "Pretty much as long as I can remember, I guess". She laughs softly. In spite of her quietness, there is a melodic resonance in Chasanoff's voice. It's especially present in the songs she writes and offers her audiences in live performances or on her CDs. She seems to have a natural ease with the deeper subjects in life. Lyrics from her haunting song, "Here Forever," written for her late grandmother whom she adored, speak about love and loss with a power both delicate and fierce:Swing set's too small, suddenly I can't fly as high...And I lose you one more time as the picture slowly dies...Music has always been Chasanoff's cheif passion in life, she says, and clearly performance and teaching are her preferred methods for pursuing it. Her delight in opening the world of music to youngsters is obvious when she speaks of the classes she taught at the Green Chimney's schools in Brewster, NY, and teaches now at Pawling Elementary School, a few miles north of there. "The kids get so involved in it. To them, learning music is discovering a new language,"she says. She can really identify with that. "I wanted to study voice even as a very young child, but of course in third grade you take a band instrument. I took flute, which I played all through school." She and her family were living in Yonkers, NY...Chasanoff's hometown, at the time. Soon after, they moved to Brewster. One lesson she learned along the way: A good teacher is critical. "I loved the French Horn and wanted to learn it, but the instructor was just not very good, " she says. Then she was able to have lessons after school with the right teacher. " Six months after that, "she says, "I was playing French Horn in band". As a Brewster High School student, Chasanoff played in every music program, on every instrument she could. French Horn, flute, piano. She even learned trumpet. "I loved them all. I wanted to be great at every one!" Again that melodic little laugh. She sounds self-depricating, but she's telling the truth. For college, WestConn was her choice. "For obvious reasons,"says Chasanoff. "The music education program is just outstanding. Once I got there, I started wanting to do it all again. jazz ensemble, brass ensemble, opera, chorus...Finally Dr. Astrup had to bring me back down to earth." That would be WestConn Professor of Music Margaret Astrup. She advised Chasanoff it was time to focus on one instrument only, besides her voice. She chose piano. "But I did get to accompany lots of other students in recital,"she adds brightly. "Watching them rehearse with their teachers taught me so much!" After graduating, Chasanoff went on to earn her master's degree at SUNY Purchase. These days she lives happily with her two musical disciplines: teaching eager young students or performing live at regional venues ranging from WestConn's own coffeehouse(where she'll be appearing on May 7th) to the Towne Crier Cafe in Pawling, NY.” - Connie Conway

— WCSU Alumni News (Front cover story): Vol. 10 no 2

WestConn grad back to celebrate release of second CD, "BreatheSinger-songwriter Brianne Chasanoff, is coming home to roost. On Friday, Oct.25, the graduate of Western Connecticut State University's music department will return to her alma mater to celebrate the release of her new album, "Breathe.The Cd release party will take place at 7:30pm in the ballroom of the Westside Campus Center on the university's westside campus. Admission is free. "Breathe" is her second CD, and will be available for $15.Chasanoff graduated Western Connecticut in 2003 with a bachelor's in music education, with a concentration in voice and piano. Though her focus in school was classical music and she's now gone the folk pop route, you can still hear classical influences in her songs. Her piano parts are memorably moving and her voice soars with the beauty and precision of a classically trained singer. Yet her music is a far cry from chamber music. She sings melodic folk rock reminiscent of celebrated singers such as Sarah Mclachlan. Chasanoff's original lyrics are thoughtful and arresting. While at Western, Chasanoff performed on trumpet in the jazz and brass ensembles in addition to her voice and piano studies. She also took conducting and arranging classes, which sparked her interest in arranging. She's able to expertly channel all these various influences into music that's skillful, entertaining and powerful. She's a young local musician whose live show is not to be missed.The ballroom of the Westside Campus Center on Western Connecticut's westside campus is at 43 Lake Ave. EXT., Danbury.” - Erik Ofgang

Danbury News Times - Backstage Pass

Getting to Know Brianne Chasanoff - Falcon Ridge Emerging ArtistPosted by Kathy Sands-Boehmer on July 7, 2014 at 6:30pmBrianne Chasanoff, from New Fairfield, Conn., has been trained as a classical vocalist and pianist and has earned her stripes accompanying other musicians and singers in a variety of different musical milieus. She’s played in orchestras for plays, chorus ensembles, church services of all kinds and covered the range from Broadway to classical to pop. Many of the people whom she has performed before have no idea that there’s a secret side of Brianne—a side that is much more personal and connected to the music she plays….because that music is her own.Brianne Chasanoff is one of 24 emerging artists chosen for this year’s Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. The Emerging Artist showcase is always one of the highlights of the festival. The musicians are chosen by a three-member jury and are given the opportunity to perform two songs (not to exceed ten minutes). The audience votes for their favorites and three or four acts are asked to return to the main stage the following year.In reading your bio, it sounds as though music has been an integral part of your life since you were very young. Do you recall how the power of music made you feel when you listened to it? How did it change once you began to play music?Music has always been an extremely powerful tool for me when I listened to it. It could transform my mood instantly. I remember playing music for as long as I can remember, but when I started performing and composing (playing piano and singing) it became even more powerful for me, because I could express myself through the music.You have degrees in classical voice and piano as well as studio composition. Do you still participate in shows or recordings that are more classical in nature?Yes, I am a piano accompanist as well as a performer and music teacher. I accompany vocalists who perform various styles of music, including classical music. I also composed a classical instrumental piece that can be heard on my most recent album, Breathe. If you listen closely to my music, I’m sure you can also hear its classical influence.Is it true that Sarah McLachlan’s music helped to change your mind about popular music? What was it about her songs that move you so much?At the time I was attending high school, all I knew of popular music was what was being played on the radio. I wasn’t a big fan of it because I felt that it lacked a natural emotional quality. When a friend gave me a tape of Sarah Mclachlan’s Touch  and Fumbling Towards Ecstacy, I could hear the emotional depth in her voice. Her compositions and arrangements were also different from anything I’d ever heard on the radio and I immediately felt connected to her music.Have you gone on to be inspired by other singer-songwriters?Most definitely! Patty Griffin is a big one. Her poetic lyrics are inspiring, as well as her compositions and the way she expresses herself vocally.  I’m also inspired by Damien Rice, Ingrid Michaelson, the Beatles, and Joni Mitchell, among many others.How do you get yourself into a frame of mind to create music?  Do you set time aside or do you wait for the muse to come and visit?It has to happen naturally, when it’s ready to come out. It’s usually inspired by something happening in my life, or someone else’s life.  Sometimes I write songs and I have no idea what they mean. The meaning of these songs often reveal themselves in the future as premonitions. If I want to get myself into a frame of mind to create music, listening to artists that inspire me may spark a few words or put me in the mood to write.You’ve recorded two albums, Breathe (2013) and Broken (2007). How would you describe both of them?  Did the time between the two projects help you envision new possibilities in the studio or are they pretty much compatible soundmates?I’ve never stopped growing as a musician and being inspired by all genres of music. I believe there is a definitive difference between the two albums.  Breathe (2013) has a jazz and Dixieland influence among some of the tunes, with brass arrangements, while Broken (2007) has a mellow/sad tone throughout the album and its style is mostly ballad/pop. Both albums are similar in nature because they both contain songs that tell stories that the listener can identify with.Have you ever attended Falcon Ridge Folk Festival before? If so, what did you think?  If not, what are your expectations?I have never attended the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival before and I am very excited to have the opportunity to attend and perform! I look forward to meeting other musicians who share the same passion that I do. I walk through life having no expectations. Having no expectations makes life experiences much more exciting, but I know it will be an amazing experience that I will always remember.To learn more about Brianne, visit her website.” - Kathy Sands-Boehmer

No Depression: The Roots Music Authority Blog

Brewster Alumni to Perform in WestportBrewster High School alumni Brianne Chasanoff will perform Saturday, June 10th at 8pm at Voices Cafe in the Unitarian Church located at 10 Lyons Plains Road, Westport, Conn.Chasanoff’s angelic voice captures listeners and takes them on a personal journey through life’s experiences. She has a unique way of expressing herself through her passionate vocals, accompanied by her own piano skills and creative arrangements. Her songwriting journey began when she was awarded semi-finalist status in a national singer/songwriter competition. You can detect a touch of Sarah Mclachlan along with Joni Mitchell, however, she is truly her own artist and a master at creating arrangements to frame the story she is telling.Her songwriting journey began when she was named semi-finalist status in a national singer/songwriter competition.Chasanoff,  along with Mary Gardner, and Michael Alas make the perfect trio as their sensitivity and depth of emotional expression blend seamlessly. They have performed at various venues including Infinity Hall (Norfolk, CT), Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (Emerging Artists Showcase), Merryall Center for the Arts (New Milford, CT), The Towne Crier Cafe, The Mews (Provincetown, MA) and various locations in New York City.Chasanoff has shared the stage with national touring acts including Mary Fahl of the October Project, Susan Werner, and two-time Grammy award winner Bill Miller.The singer/songwriter is a classically trained vocalist and pianist, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Music Education concentrating in Voice and Piano and a Master’s Degree in Studio Composition from Purchase College Conservatory of Music. She performs various styles of music from Pop and Broadway to classical.Chasanoff has released two albums which can be purchased on or iTunes, and have been aired on various local radio stations, Pandora Radio, and Spotify. Her song, “Pretend,” was recently aired on WHUD’s 100.7 FM Hudson Valley’s Artist Spotlight where she was interviewed by Andy Bale.In addition to her performing career, Chasanoff teaches music in the Pawling Public School District helping children discover the gift of music within themselves.Mary Gardner is a multi-instrumentalist, teacher, and conductor specializing in world music, marimba, and orchestral percussion. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Performance from Ithaca College and her Master’s degree in Percussion Performance at the University of Connecticut.A native of the Philippines, Michael Alas has degrees in romance languages/pre-medical studies from Wagner College and viola performance from the Purchase College Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Ira Weller. He has performed all over the world from Alaska to New Zealand, from Carnegie Hall to breaking cultural ground and touring all over Asia with the Manhattan Symphony. Seating for the upcoming performace is cabaret style (at tables) and table reservations (minimum 4 people) are accepted by contacting David Vita, or calling 203.227.7205 x14. Doors open at 7:30. Purchase tickets at:

Putnam County Press/Times

WHUD's 100.7 FM Artists Spotlight Interview/Song- Click below to hear the live Interview on Hudson Valley's WHUD's 100: ” - Andy Bale

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2 Hour Radio Interview with Bruce Swan "Music My Mother Would Not Like- Click the link to hear the interveiw:” - Bruce Swan

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Violet Willows is a Connecticut based duo featuring Brianne Chasanoff (piano, vocals, songwriter), and Mary Gardner (multi-instrumentalist, vocals). Brianne and Mary's musical talents blend seamlessly, speaking to the listener intimately through their depth of emotional expression. They'll take you on a journey performing their unique arrangements of familiar covers both past and present, along with original compositions which had been featured on Hudson Valley's 100.7FM WHUD Artist Spotlight Series. They have performed at various notable venues in CT and New York City including Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (Emerging Artist Showcase), Towne Crier, Infinity Hall, and Voices Cafe. They have shared the staged with national touring acts including Mary Fahl of the October Project, Susan Werner, and two-time grammy award winner, Bill Miller. Although their sound is unique, they have been compared to Sarah McLachlan, Joni Mitchell, and Indigo Girls. No registration necessary - first come, first seated. Brianne Chasanoff (Singer/Songwriter) is a classically trained vocalist and pianist, with a Bachelor's of Science in Music Education concentrating in Voice and Piano and a Master's Degree in Studio Composition. She performs various styles of music from Broadway and classical to pop. Her vast experience and love for all styles of music shine through in her songwriting reaching listeners of all ages and tastes. Brianne has released two albums which can be purchased on and iTunes and have been aired on various local radio stations as well as Spotify and Pandora Internet Radio. Mary Gardner is a multi-instrumentalist who specializes in percussion and world music. She has received acclaim for her fluency in a wide variety of styles from contemporary music to traditional Irish tunes, having traveled and studied abroad in Ireland and London. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Skirball Center for the Arts, Goodspeed Opera House, and many other notable venues. Mary received her Bachelor¹s degree in Music Education and Performance and her Master's Degree in Percussion Performance. Our programs are funded by the Friends of the Somers Library through your donations. Thanks for your support!The Somers Library ~ 914-232-571”

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