Dr. Sy Brandon holds the rank of professor emeritus of music from Millersville University, Millersville, PA where he taught low brass, composition, orchestration, music history, electronic music, and music industry for twenty four years. He received his B.S. and M.S. in music education from Ithaca College and his A. mus. D. in composition from the University of Arizona. His composition teachers have been Warren Benson, Elie Siegmeister, and Robert McBride.
Dr. Brandon has received numerous prizes for his compositions including first prizes in Kappa Gamma Psi Original Composition Contest (1963), WITF-FM Classical Composition Contest (1996), Tuba Universal Brotherhood Association Tuba Etude Composition Contest (1996), El Dorado Sacred Music Composition Contest (2000), Franklin and Marshall College Wind Ensemble Composition Contest (2001), and New England String Ensemble Competition (2003). He received honorable mentions in the Roth NSOA Composition Contest (1969), NACWPI Composition Contest (1973 and 1976), International Trombone Association Contest (1974 and 1985), Symposium III for New Band Music (1977), Symposium for New Woodwind Quintet Music (1980), Bucks County Symphony Society Contest (1983), Tuba Universal Brotherhood Association Euphonium Etudes Composition Contest (1995), Britten-on-the Bay Composition Contest (1996), Diana S. Barnhart American Song Composition Contest (1998), New England String Ensemble Composition Contest (2000), Delius Composition Competition (2000), and Ithaca College Choral Composition Contest (2000).
Dr. Brandon has received over twenty commissions for his music from the Boise Philharmonic, York Symphony Orchestra, the Twentieth Moravian Music Festival, and numerous professional musicians and school music organizations. In December 2001, his "Olympic Prelude" was selected as the competition piece for the 11th Annual Australian Flute Festival Flute Choir Competition. He has been a recipient of an ASCAP Special Award annually since 1998.
During 1973-74, he was composer-in-residence at Boise State University and is presently a member of the American Music Center, the American Composers’ Forum, and ASCAP. His music has been recorded by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra on the Albany Records Label, the Philharmonia Bulgarica on the ERM Label, Emeritus Recordings, the Contemporary Record Society, Trutone Records and by the Swiss Duo Delimme on the Arizona University Label. His music is published by Warner/Chappell Music, T.U.B.A. Manuscript Press, Trombone Association Publishing, Theodore Presser Co. and Co-Op Press. He is the author of "A Composer’s Guide to Understanding Music" that contains activities for listeners, interpreters, and composers. Dr. Brandon’s music has been performed both throughout the United States and abroad including performances by the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force Bands and on National Public Radio’s Performance Today.