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Orchestration Masterclasses

Orchestration of an Epic Heoric Cue


You have composed for the orchestra for some time now and you like what you have done so far. But when you listen to music from great masters like John Williams, Gustav Mahler, Maurice Ravel or John Powell, you ask yourself, why my music does not sounds as awesome as this.

The good news is that your music could sound just as good as the great master's it is reachable!

The secret of an awesome orchestration is in the details, the refinement and the coloration.

- Think your music like a painting with perspective;

   (The more layers you have, the deeper your orchestration is)

- Refine your middleground and background layers;

- Make shure each layer is at the right place;

   (foreground, middlegrounds, backgrounds)

- Use only the instruments needed at each given moment;

- Create drive with orchestration to generate drama;

- Make sure to make a good blend within each section;

- Seek a full and round sound when needed;

- Seek a good amount of resonance when needed.

In order to reach a more detailed and colorful orchestration, I propose some principles you could work on:


You may be asking yourself :

How am I going to work on those principles?

I could actually help you on your way to a more refined orchestration!

Olivier Gagnon_163-Modifier-2.jpg

My name is Olivier Gagnon I am a Canadian composer who accomplished a Doctorate in Musical Arts at the Université de Montréal. I also studied orchestration for wind symphony with Jan van der Roost in Belgium. My orchestral music was awarded many times in different competitions, including the Concorso internazionale di composizione "Romualdo Marenco", the Prix collégien de musique contemporaine,  the International Antonín Dvořák Composition Competition and the International Composition Competition Harelbeke.

Here are some samples of my orchestral music that is often depicted as colorful and detailed.


My teaching is based on theory, but also by my professional experience as a composer and by my researches on Music Perception, which gives me a lot of tools to explain why the theory is designed this way. I also talk a lot about how to generate expectation and drama in your music.

What people think of my orchestral music and my teaching?

Faded Poncer

« J’ai eu la chance d’avoir quelques tutorats en écriture orchestrale avec Olivier. Chaque fois, ce fut concluant. C’est un excellent pédagogue qui connaît en profondeur l’orchestration et la composition en général. Toujours à l’écoute, il a pu m’aider à optimiser ma partition tout en étant généreux de conseils pratiques qui me seront utiles lors de projets subséquents. »

Guillaume St-Laurent - Pianiste, arrangeur et compositeur

An opportunity!!

One of my teachers told me once that the one thing we can’t learn from the great masters is how to avoid a trap. As self-taught, it may also be difficult to know why every detail is placed exactly there by looking at the scores.

  • What about watching someone orchestrate, while explaining what he is doing and why?

  • What about being able to ask him any questions why he is doing it? He may also be able to show it to you as an answer.

That is exactly what I am proposing. I will orchestrate online an Epic Heroic Cue while explaining every choice I make and why I made them. This will be a MIDI orchestration in Cubase broadcast live with Zoom, on Facebook and on Youtube. Participants will be invited to ask questions at anytime during the masterclasses.

You will then see an orchestrator in action and at your disposal for any question!


While I orchestrate, I will discuss and show:

- How to compose a detailed, refined and colorful orchestration;

- How to put a layer on the forefront;

- How to create drive in the orchestration;

- How to blend sections;

- How to orchestrate each sections;

- How to create fullness and roundness in the sound;

- How to create resonance;

- Etc.

This is a series of around 8 Masterclasses for only 50$. There may be more, it depends on how many sessions are needed to orchestrate the whole 4 minutes cue. No matter how many masterclasses is needed, the price is still 50$.

  • The sessions will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from July 28th to August 20th from 9 am to 12 am (New York Time);

  • There will be a live broadcast on Zoom and Facebook live, where you can ask all the questions you have in mind;

  • You will have access to the video forever! (The videos will be uploaded on a special Facebook Group, as well as on a private Youtube Channel);

  • You will be invited to join a Facebook Group where we can all discuss any topics of music composition or musical career.


Ready to enroll?

Let's go!



If you are not fully satisfied by my services, get in touch with me in 14 days after the beginning of the sessions and I will fully refund you, minus some transfer fees or exchange rates fees.

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