Brittney Boykin conducts the Georgia Tech Treble Choir

Brittney Boykin

Brittney Boykin

As a composer, Brittney Boykin has embraced the role of technology in her work. While some of her colleagues and mentors may still write music by hand, that just isn’t for her.

“I write music on my laptop of my MIDI keyboard. Technology has been a huge help to me and I’m grateful for that,” said Boykin, whose focus now is on composing opera, but she hopes to be writing film scores one day. “That is the goal, but right now it’s all about opera.”

Boykin has been commissioned by the Kennedy Center to write two operas. The most recent, Oshun, was performed in January by musicians in the Washington National Opera. Oshun is the goddess of divinity, femininity, fertility, beauty, and love, in West African tradition, or, “everything beautiful,” said Boykin, whose 20-minute opera “is about self-realization and transformation, in a nutshell, Oshun discovering her powers and what she is capable of doing to essentially save the world.”

A classically trained pianist who studied music at Spelman College, her choral piece, “We Sing as One,” was commissioned to celebrate the college’s founding. As an instructor in the School of Music and director of the treble choir at Georgia Tech, she’s encouraged by the talent and work ethic of her students.

“The Georgia Tech student is brilliant, driven, and ambitious,” she said. “It’s nice to have them bring that level of grit to making music. It’s pure joy.”


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