Braeden Ayres is a composer, conductor, and instructor of vocal music. Ayres’s repertoire varies widely, with pieces written especially for the developing voice, high school choirs, and collegiate/professional ensembles. His works incorporate a mixture of common-practice-period ideals, popular music influences, extended harmonies, shifting modality and meter, and through-composition; however, as a composer of primarily choral and vocal works, Ayres’s main goal is to use all of these tools to write accessible and interesting pieces that effectively illuminate compelling texts.
An internationally performed composer, Ayres's commissioned works have premiered at national and state-level ACDA honor choirs and all-states, as well as at local choir concerts across the country. Ayres was a runner-up in the Raymond S. Brock Student Composition Competition, and was an invitee to the ACDA Eastern Division Composition Masterclass as a result. As a conductor, Ayres was the first runner-up in the Southwest ACDA Graduate Conducting Competition, conducted the Northern Colorado Patriot League Women's Honor Choir. He was recently named the University of Northern Colorado's "Innovator of the Year" and awarded the UNC Spark Prize for his design of a new "'intelligent' rhythm-teaching smartphone app," which is currently in development.
Ayres previously served on the vocal faculty at Discovery Canyon Campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado, teaching 6-12 grade students with a team of exceptional educators. In his four years at DCC, the campus's choral program tripled to over 500 students; over 100 singers were accepted into the various Colorado All-State Choirs; two students were accepted into the 2015 ACDA Honor Choir in Salt Lake City; his choirs were consistently awarded top marks at state festival competitions; and the Performing Arts Department was a finalist for the “Thomas S. Crawford Team of the Year Award” for Academy School District 20. During this time, Ayres also served as the first-ever Assistant Director of “Out Loud: The Colorado Springs Men’s Chorus” and began his work as an inaugural board member of the Colorado Middle School All-State Choir.
Ayres graduated cum laude from the Baylor University School of Music in Waco, Texas with a Bachelor’s of Choral Music Education degree, and is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Northern Colorado. Ayres is a member of the national and state-level chapters of ACDA, NAFME, ASCAP, and the Society of Composers, Inc. He shares his home with his fiancé, Ryan, a fellow music educator and advocate for inclusive teaching—as well as two rescue dogs, Kimmy and Tonks.