Douglas J. Brown, a native of Middleton, Wisconsin, earned a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. While there, he studied percussion with John Beck, Bill Cahn, and Ruth Cahn. He has performed professionally in and around the Rochester area, as well as in Wisconsin where he was Acting Principal Percussionist of the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra.
During his time at Eastman, Mr. Brown established a series of music outreach events for inner-city schools, collaborating with the Eastman Wind Ensemble and the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra. Brown has taught general music at the Urban Choice Charter School in Rochester, New York, as well as Early Childhood Music at the Eastman Community Music School.
In 2008, he began his Masters at Louisiana State University, studying Wind Conducting as a student of Frank Wickes. During his time at LSU, Mr. Brown served as a graduate conducting associate with the Symphonic Band, Symphonic Winds, and the Wind Ensemble, as well as a teaching assistant with the LSU Tiger Marching Band. Mr. Brown was an assistant student conductor with the Eastman Wind Orchestra, Eastman Wind Ensemble, LSU Big Band and Chamber Jazz Ensembles, the LSU Percussion Ensemble, as well as resident conductor for the LSU Horn Choir in their performance at the Southeast Regional Horn Conferences.
Mr. Brown is in his seventh year as Director of Jazz Studies, Percussion Ensemble, Hip Hop Education, and Co-Director of the Middleton High School Band Department. During Brown's tenure, the MHS Jazz Program has hosted world-renowned guest artists who have engaged in music education and provided students with the inspiration to continue making music an important part of their lives. Guest artists have included Ali Jackson and Victor Goines from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Wayne Bergeron, Carl Allen, and Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Allen Vizzutti with whom the band toured Japan.
For the past five years, Mr. Brown’s percussion class has competed at the Percussive Arts Society International Competition in the chamber ensemble division, solo marimba division, rudimental snare competition, and solo timpani division. Students have earned scholarships for world-renowned festivals, colleges, summer music clinics and are earning acceptance into the nation’s top musical institutions.
Mr. Brown has had the opportunity to work with a diverse group of composers and arrangers throughout his conducting and performance tenure, including Joseph Schwantner, Bill Conti, Steven Stucky, John Mackey, Rolf Rudin, Mark Scatterday, Donald Huntsberger, and Frederick Fennell. He has also had the pleasure of working with many solo artists including Bill Cahn, Bob Becker, Nexus Percussion Group, Kroumata Percussion, Brian Shaw, Brett William Dietz, and Halie Silverman.
He most recently attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he worked with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. After the completion of this program, Mr. Brown organized and conducted a high school ensemble performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City and a side-by-side with musicians from the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. He also attended the Essentially Ellington Band Director Academy in NYC as well as the Hip Hop in the Heartland Summer Institute. In 2019, Mr. Brown participated in the OUSD African American Male Achievement Symposium to engage in transformative schooling discussions for African American Boys k-12.
In 2020, Brown was selected as a Kohl Fellow, Middleton Education Foundation Grant Recipient, Melvin F. Pontious Creative Sparks in Music Education Award winner, Mimic Grant recipient, and was nominated for The Grammy Music Educator Award, Crystal Apple Award and Wisconsin Educator of the Year. As an up and coming Hip Hop Educator, Mr. Brown is serving on several nationally recognized Education Boards in New York City and the Bronx as well as the Hip Hop Round Table for Little Kids Rock a non-profit music curriculum company that reaches over 10,000 schools and the Universal Hip Hop Archive to develop the National Standards for Hip Hop Music Education. In 2021 he will speak at the National Council for the Social Studies Convention on Cross Curricular Teaching in Music and SocialStudies and is currently a guest Lecturer at St. Cloud University. Mr. Brown’s Hip Hop studies and teachings have inspired Middleton High School to now offer both Hip Hop Evolution Courses as well as the Hip Hop Co-Op. Under his direction and vision MHS houses a full state of the art recording studio and Hip Hop Classroom with 15 individual DJ Stations for students to create, record and produce music. In the October 2021 print edition of the School Band and Orchestra Magazine, Brown and Dr. Michael Dando co-authored a publication titled Flipping the Script on Music Education: Hip Hop in the Classroom.