Alanna grew up in a musically encouraged environment, and was introduced to piano and violin lessons at the age of 3. After experimenting with many instruments including the cello, tuba and alto saxophone, she fell in love with the guitar. Through her teenage years Alanna performed, wrote, and recorded with different bands including the punk rock band, Molly The Machine – playing lead guitar, and the East York based indie band Still Life Still – playing synth, keyboards, vocals, and percussion.
At Malvern High School in Toronto, Alanna won the title of “Malvern Idol”, singing and accompanying herself on piano to the classic tune, “Wild Horses”.
After high school, Alanna couldn’t choose between her love for snowboarding and music, and headed to the Canadian West coast where she attended the University of British Columbia to study psychology and linguistics. At school she found herself spending more time jamming in drum circles and performing to her fellow residents than she did researching for her classes. She decided that although British Columbia had Whistler, Ontario had the music scene she so dearly missed, and a year later, Alanna was accepted into Humber College’s Contemporary – Jazz Music Degree programme back in Toronto.
Throughout her Humber College years, Alanna had the pleasure of studying with Rik Emmett, Shannon Gunn, Heather Bambrick, Trish Colter, Ian Terry, David Virelles, and many other influential musicians. Her teachers recognized her unique sense of musicality and dedication, and Alanna was hired by the college to tutor her fellow students in Ear Training, Theory and Improvisation.
During her 4 years at Humber, Alanna continued to write original material and perform at various bars and restaurants around the city. These gigs led to performances as a guest composer – singer with the University of Toronto Hart House Chamber Strings, where a musical fan, Blaise Alleyne offered to arrange some of Alanna’s material for 30 strings. The performance with Heart House Strings stood out as one of Alanna’s most memorable stage experiences, and inspired her to record an EP of these tunes at the Humber College Recording Studio in the fall of 2010. The 5 track EP, “Tuesday’s Coming”, was released May 24th, 2011.
Since graduating from Humber, Alanna has been recording her first 10-track album with producer – engineer Jeff Wolpert. This album is a collection of Alanna’s favourite original material, and is due for release in August, 2011.
Although she loves fronting her own band and taking lead on the stage, Alanna has also enjoyed collaborating with Toronto based MC Miles Jones, singer – songwriter Tristan Drysdale, and is featured on several local band’s albums as a guest singer. Keep an eye out for her name in the Toronto indie scene, and come check out a live show to see what she’s all about!