• Stephen P Brown's recommended books to read
    Articles

    12 books for the growing career

    I’m working hard on my next #PsalmQuest piece – a concerto for Bass Clarinet and Strings, and it is going well, but with the holidays and lots of travel it’s been hard to keep up. Should have something to share with you in a month or so. In the meantime, here is a list of 12 books all budding/ growing… people should read (At first I wrote “musicians” but realized there is a great deal of info here that is relevant for anyone trying to grow a business or even just their own career, even in the music-related books!). If you or someone you love is trying to build a…

  • Asleep at a concert
    Articles

    Who cares about live music?

    Time for a rant/ rave/ vent, methinks. It’s been a while. Bear with me: Who cares about live music? Everywhere I look there are stories of musicians being yelled off their stage, performers crying for “decent” pay, orchestras and opera houses closing down, music schools diminishing beyond recognition, and a host of other music-related news that simply doesn’t play a pretty tune. So, who actually still cares about music? Musicians do (instrumentalists, singers, composers, conductors). Politicians will if it makes them popular. Some film producers and directors do. Music writers and administrators do. Music teachers and professors do. Some corporate executives hoping to make their company look good by supporting local…

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    The Last “Substance Leader” – Nelson Mandela

    Well, we can decidedly close an entire volume of human history: another era has come to a close. Although we still have a 110 year old pianist who remembers meeting Gustav Mahler, we have lost the last bastion of trustworthy social leadership. Nelson Mandela worked for a living despite his royal heritage, and all the while stood up for equality principles before finally leading an entire nation of different peoples into a more cohesive and prosperous future for all. At least for a while. I’m sure being in prison for 27 years imbued much substance that supported his convictions. When any leader takes a stance on anything, many other people…

  • British American Conductor Composer Stephen P Brown and the Clearwater Chorus
    Articles

    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…

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    #PsalmQuest 10 – Mirror 2 for solo harp

    Writing this piece of music was probably one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve ever done. Perhaps that’s why it turned out to be a good one. The harp can be a daunting instrument: it is large yet delicate, piano-like but not a piano, strings plucked with four fingers per hand not hammers hit by five fingers. However, the learning process about harp technique was made considerably easier by Jacqueline Pollauf, who has kindly posted a list of guidelines online. But I must admit, I also cheated a little – I asked Anna Kate Mackle, Principal Harpist of the Florida Orchestra, for some input. Back in the mid 80s, Anna Kate…