Coming from a background in arts integrated education, Drew Swatosh (they/them) strives to create connections within their music, whether through the inclusion of programmatic/extra musical elements; collaborating with other composers, musicians, and artists; and/or combining different musical styles and compositional techniques. They use composing as a means of processing the world around them, which includes social justice, intersectional feminism, climate change, and grief. Drew has been commissioned by Stephanie Bivins (Glacier View Junior High Concert Choir/Aspire Middle School for the Performing Arts); Vancouver School of Arts and Academics Jazz, Orchestra, and Vocal music departments; guitarist Ciyadh Wells; and composer/soprano/poet Carolyn Quick (she/her).
As a composer, Drew has participated in many different master classes with composers including Martin Bresnick, Dave Metzger, Chen Yi, Gabriel Prokofiev, and Lisa Neher. Beyond master classes, Drew has participated in the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium, and the Fear No Music Young Composers Project. For their SATB setting of the Poem In Flanders Fields by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, Drew won 1st place in the Washington State Music Teachers Association Young Composers Project.
Drew has studied with Elizabeth Ackerman, Dave Averre, Bill Whitley, Carlos Velez, and Kevin Walczyk and holds two degrees in music composition from Western Oregon University, a BMus in Contemporary Music and, a MMus in Contemporary Music. They currently reside in Vancouver, Washington. In addition to composing, Drew is a vocalist, pianist, ukulele player, engraver, and poet. They love women’s soccer and are a tech and fashion enthusiast.