Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Grace-Mary Burega’s family moved to the Boston, Massachusetts area while she was still a toddler. There, Burega fell in love with jazz by watching the TV show, “The Simpsons,” where Lisa Simpson plays the baritone saxophone and listens to Miles Davis’ “Birth of the Cool”. A woodwind multi-instrumentalist, Burega performs on alto, tenor and baritone saxophones; clarinet and bass clarinet; and the flute, piccolo and alto flute. Burega began composing for herself on woodwinds, which led to an interest in writing for media as a way to help causes she believes in.
Burega was awarded a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music, where she studied Film & TV Scoring and the saxophone. While in the film scoring department, Burega was accepted into two application-based classes: Film Practicum and Documentary Practicum, where she received guidance for the artist-director collaboration in both fiction and non-fiction media. Burega has studied scoring with teachers such as Ruth Mendelson, Alison Plante, Claudio Ragazzi and Mason Daring. Burega served as a leader for both the Berklee Film Scoring Network and the Women’s Film Initiative, which gave her the opportunity to lead interviews with Olafur Arnalds, Anne Dudley, Tina Guo and Carter Burwell, among others. She was awarded the Robert Share Award to celebrate her outstanding achievements in the Film Scoring Department.
Burega has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Newport Jazz Festival, Boston’s Symphony Hall, New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall and the Berklee Performance Center. Burega has studied the saxophone with Bill Pierce and George Garzone, and has received numerous Berklee scholarships for her achievements on the saxophone: the Joseph E. Viola Award, the Paul Wagner Award, the Lester Lanin Award, and the Professional Performance Division Woodwind Award.
Burega has written the music for several media projects. She is currently working on the horror short film “Denmother” by director Cameron Bruce Nelson of Columbia University. She is working as the composer of animated short films, “Saturday Morning” by Joshua Hill of MassArt and “Cling” by Matthew Brisbon of Lesley University. Burega co-composed the score to the comedy short film “Granny Panties” by Anna Abbanat of Emerson College. Burega composed original music for three climate change PSAs for Boston University's Hothouse Productions and Litton Entertainment, which are a call to action for climate change. Burega wrote for a documentary short film on the results of the Rwandan genocide directed by Beth Murphy. Burega also wrote the score for Beijing Film Academy graduate, Liao Kang's experimental short film “Hypersomnia”. Burega was the main title composer for Emerson’s Nikki McGovern's online web series, called "Grow Up".
Burega’s work experience includes being JazzBoston’s newsletter editor, as well as working as an assistant at the jazz PR firm Braithwaite & Katz and at the Amazing Things Arts Center.