• Youth Ensemble Conductor
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    Please… be our conductor!

    Uh-oh! I completely forgot to write a blog post this week! So, instead, here’s an entertaining video. If you ever want to be a conductor, the best advice I can offer is to be in the right place at the right time: I hope you find a similar opportunity near you soon!     My first rehearsal with the Clearwater Chorus went very well this week, and I’m in the middle of composing a piece for solo harp, plus the usual projects and daily grind.

  • Conductor Composer Stephen P Brown share an insane fact about music
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    17 insane (but probably true) things about music

    This is just a fun post. None of these facts have been verified, but I bet at least one of them will put a smile on your face! Have a great week ­čÖé 1. There is a law in New Hampshire that prevents you from tapping your feet, nodding your head, or in any other way keep time to music whilst in a tavern (pub), restaurant or cafe. 2.┬áIn the 1930s, applause caused Toscanini’s radio concerts to be too long so the audience was asked to be quiet. Until then, classical music concerts were┬áextremely rowdy with people standing, walking around, drinking & eating, and having complete conversations while the musicians…

  • 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…

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    Dreamy… to start with.

    The composer Zoltan Kodaly has a special place in my heart and history. I like much of his music, which is very folk-based. He was the chap that pioneered formal classical music based on local regional folk & popular music. He actually traveled around his native Hungary with wax cylinders recording peasants, villagers and gypsies singing their made-up songs. Then he composed pieces of music based on them, and inspired his colleague Bela Bartok to base much of his music on folk tunes and hence the formal genre now known as ‘ethnomusicology‘ was born. Perhaps Kodaly’s most famous piece is a suite from his opera Hary Janos which features a…