• Horse-drawn sleigh rides walk or canter - they struggle at a trot.
    Articles

    The Speed of a Sleigh Ride

    Although audiences seem to love it, many performers question why I like to conduct Leroy Anderson’s holiday piece “Sleigh Ride” so darn quickly. Here’s why: Audiences love it. Well, actually, there’s more to it than that. Usually, when I get to select my own holiday music programs, I often use Sleigh Ride as an encore piece. After all, we all want our audiences to leave a concert full of upbeat energy, wanting more, talking to each other about the wonderful time they just had, and telling others to attend next time. But I’ve also done my research.

  • British American Conductor Composer Stephen P Brown and the Clearwater Chorus
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    Back to Choral Roots

    A couple of months ago I was appointed Conductor of the 40+ year old Clearwater Chorus. It’s an ensemble of people who like to sing, and encourages adults of varying ages and abilities to make and share music together. At least, that’s what it is now. Although not titled a “Director” that is effectively my role and as a result, I’ve grabbed hold of the reins and am guiding the ensemble through a new perspective: who we have and what we do now is what we are, and as long as we work together to share music, we’ll be doing something of value to the world. [Click here: I’m giving…

  • Share your story of leadership with Stephen P Brown
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    Seeking Leadership Stories

    As a Conductor I am often held responsible not just for the instant moment-by-moment success of live music-making, but also the entire image, direction and resourcefulness of the whole organization. Every action and decision a leader makes directly influences outcomes and sales. (Click it to tweet it!) As you know, that basically sums up the outcome of every leader’s work. Leadership studies So over the years I have studied and explored a great many leadership and management concepts and skills, including those espoused by Tom Peters, Michael Hyatt, Marie Forleo, Dave Ramsey, Richard Branson, John C. Maxwell, Michael E. Gerber, J. W. Marriott Jr., Charles Forte, Earl Nightingale, and a…

  • Conductor Composer Stephen P Brown
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    When to say no

    Last night I performed at an awards ceremony. It was a great show directed by a great showman Peter Stark (the former American ballet dancer, not the English conductor). One of the musical highlights for me was conducting a special arrangement of “Kashmir” made famous by Led Zeppelin, and more recently by the electric string quartet “Escala“. Our arrangement was for full orchestra, rock band, vocal soloist and two choirs – love it.     But also on the programme was a peppy little number I wrote myself – the last movement of my Marimba Concerto 1. I led a performance of the whole piece earlier this week with Glenda…

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    People Matter.

    What are you working on? Do you have a hobby or skill that you pursue outside of your day job? Some people build model train sets, others go ice skating. Some folk coach Little League baseball, and others knit. What’s your hobby? (Tell me in the comments below). It’s interesting that over the past 10 days or so something has come to light in my world prompted by several emails following my “Keeping up appearances” post last week. That something is a project. No, a Project. Well, to be perfectly honest, it’s a “Major Project.” Much of the encouragement and advice you’ve shared in comments, tweets and emails has been…