Welcome to the official web site of Anita Brown, Composer & Teaching Artist. Please browse MUSIC for new clips, and PRODUCTS.
Please forgive the wonky look of my website as I have been forced to migrate to BandZoogle from HostBaby and really don't have time right now. This is most annoying and while it will get done, it won't get done today. :)
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My most recent project is a three-movement work for Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra entitled Hart Island Suite. Details to follow. Some information is currently available at #hartislandsuite.
Through Fractured Atlas any individual or corporation can become a patron of Anita Brown, Composer/Teaching Artist:
If you would like to contribute to financing the premiere production of Hart Island Suite through Fractured Atlas, every little bit helps and your contribution is deeply appreciated. Details will follow.
Anita Brown, Composer/Teaching Artist is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Anita Brown, Composer/Teaching Artist must be made payable to "Fractured Atlas" only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Click here to make a tax-deductible donation by credit card.
If you prefer, you may donate by check. Please make checks payable to Fractured Atlas. Please write Project: Anita Brown, Composer/Teaching Artist in the memo. Checks made payable to any other payee will be returned to its sender. Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you my mailing address.
For check donations over $1000, please download the Major Gift Letter pdf file and send it in with your donation.
Thank you for your support!
Previous Endeavors partially supported through Fractured Atlas:
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In 2012-13 I composed a piece as a result of having been selected for the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute's (JCOI) Intensive workshop (Part 1) at UCLA in August, and earned a subsequent invitation to make application for their 2013 EarShot Readings workshop (Part 2). Disarming The Tempest is a symphonic poem illuminating the plight of returning combat veterans suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). In AB form, its disjointed A section represents the tempest within, while the lyrical B section offers the inner peace they long for. This is a new work for symphony orchestra, marking my first attempt at composing art music expressly for this genre, as opposed to the jazz- and tune-oriented works I have been writing. It was read for the first time by The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in Buffalo, NY on April 23rd & 24th. My deepest gratitude to all the Marines who shared personal thoughts with me as I forged this work. ~AB "[Explosions leave] a sense of disillusion for that split second. The world stops. Then hell kisses you in the mouth again." --Brandon Weatherford, 3rd Battalion 5th Marines, United States Marine Corps
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Introducing "Operation Dovetail," a program designed to inspire returning combat veterans and others suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) through learning about the value of the creative process for the non-artist. Information is available under EDUCATIONAL SERVICES on the PRODUCTS page of this website. To help support this program and other artistic pursuits, please continue reading...
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Stand: A Symphony for Jazz Orchestra premiered September 10, 2011. It was a great success due, in part, to the generous contributions to so many folks who donated financially through Fractured Atlas, and many who gave of their time. The Honorable Harriet D. Cornell, Chairwoman of The Rockland County Legislature bestowed upon me a Legislative Proclamation, lauding "Stand: A Symphony for Jazz Orchestra" for the unique manner in which it honored the American experience of our national tragedy on 9/11, its victims, victims' families, first responders and all who answered the call to arms in response. A letter of thanks from General James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of The United States Marine Corps was also received in October. To view videos, photos, these documents and more, please visit www.standsymphony.com.
The World Premiere of Anita's original large-scale work commemorating the American experience surrounding our national tragedy of 9/11.
STAND: A Symphony for Jazz Orchestra was premiered in Nyack's Memorial Park, Saturday September 10, 2011, 2:00 pm, for The People.
The creative process requires time to think about the intention of the work, its message, structure and initial ideas. It requires time to take musical dictation from ideas so fleeting and elusive that you have to be still in silence to allow them to surface. Once they “arrive” in “sketch” form, the task of selecting musical colors requires time to engage the imagination in finding the right combinations of instruments and layers of sound, to say nothing of the planning of a piece’s structure and development.
For centuries, artists have had patrons who support their creative efforts. An organization called Fractured Atlas afforded me this opportunity through an extension of their non-profit status and resources for grant applications. With an important, time-sensitive project on the slate, I was able to secure Fiscal Sponsorship status with Fractured Atlas in January 2011. This premiere was executed to commemorate the American experience of September 11, 2001 on the occasion of its tenth anniversary later this year. It is entitled Stand: A Symphony for Jazz Orchestra and has its own website: www.standsymphony.com.
Thank you for your interest and support. Please visit anita's blog on this website and the blog at www.standsymphony.com.
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Anita is an award-winning composer who has received international critical acclaim for her work. Performing around metropolitan New York since 2000 with her band, Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra, she released this independently-produced debut CD, 27 EAST in 2003.
(This CD cover is a live link! Click it and see!) Anita is in demand as a guest composer, conductor and clinician at all levels. After an extensive teaching career as a school music educator, Ms. Brown embarked upon a freelance journey filled with new opportunities and challenges.
She began an association with the prestigious BMI Jazz Composers' Workshop in New York City in 1995. As a contributing composer she had the opportunity to share ideas with many wonderful composers, all under the tutelage of legendary composer/arrangers, Manny Albam and Jim McNeely. In 2000 Mike Abene joined the roster of BMI mentors. During this time Anita served as copyist, librarian and archivist to a host of well-known jazz writers and artists including The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Maria Schneider Orchestra, Don Sebesky, John Pizzarelli, Jr., Jim McNeely, Manny Albam, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Associated Music Services, Maestro Maurice Peress, the Estate of Gil Evans, and more.
In July 2001 she and mentor, Manny Albam began to catalogue his works together. Later that summer he suddenly fell ill. Just prior to his passing, Anita promised that she would see the cataloguing project through. After Manny's death, October 2, 2001, his widow requested that Ms. Brown produce his memorial concert.
On November 18, 2001, she produced The Manny Albam Memorial Concert at St. Peter's Church in New York City. Performances were given by a stellar roster of artists, including The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Frank Wess, Bob Brookmeyer, Jim Hall, Nancy Marano and Jon Faddis to a standing-room-only audience.
As Primary Librarian, Anita is proud to announce that the cataloguing of Manny's works was completed with the assistance of several BMI writers under her supervision and is now housed in The Jazz Archives at Rutgers University.
Following a life-changing "minor mishap" Anita decided it was time to record her own music. In 2003 she recruited her jazz orchestra to record seven of her original works. The recording took place on March 24th & 25th at Clinton Studios in New York City and was masterfully recorded and mixed by James Farber. In early June it was mastered by Michael MacDonald at AlgoRhythms (NYC) and was ready for independent release in August 2003! It includes three tracks which were composed on the beach in Montauk, NY. Never been there? The Montauk Lighthouse is shown on the front cover. The liner notes say the rest!
Anita is happy to tell the world that she is not only thrilled with the whole rehearsing, recording, mixing, mastering process, but equally as thrilled to have had the honour of giving one of her former students her first professional opportunity out of undergraduate school. Now an accomplished photographic artist (different from "photographer"), Krista Wortendyke was once a student of "Ms. Brown's." Ms. Wortendyke was in her third grade music class and also studied piano with "Ms. Brown" for a number of years during the same time period. The planets seemed to align perfectly to have Krista shoot all the film and take care of all the graphic design, including the CD Cover for 27 EAST. Please visit this one-of-a-kind artist's web site to see her truly original vision. The viewfinder on her camera does NOT see the same thing the viewfinder sees through yours and my camera. I can see more clearly now that the "gig" I offered her was just that. A gig. You'll know what I mean as soon as you see her site. She did a fabulous job in creating wonderful packaging for 27 EAST. Krista is now in graduate school at Columbia College in Chicago.
In the Spring of 2005 Anita was asked to write an arrangement for Nnenna Freelon to sing with The Count Basie Orchestra and another for the Gala Opening Celebrations of University of South Florida's new Center for Jazz Composition. These works were premiered with Jazz Studies Director, Chuck Owen's Jazz Surge Big Band in concerts at the university in Tampa and The Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg, FL. Having been invited to present one of her original works and deliver the analysis of the same, Ms. Brown returned to The Center for Jazz Composition in Tampa on the occasion of its first International Jazz Composers' Symposium, Spring 2006. Much to her delight, her piece, "The Lighthouse" (track two from 27 EAST) was the winner of the first ASCAP/IJCS New Music Award for Big Band. This honor was bestowed by a jury of jazz greats including Bob Brookmeyer, John Clayton and Dave Douglas. Said Brookmeyer to Ms. Brown, "If you get any better, we're gonna have a problem!" Wow! Thanks Bob!! :-)
Anita continues her relationship with The Center for Jazz Composition at USF Tampa. In March 2007 she was asked to be a member of a celebrity adjudication committee for its First International Jazz Arrangers' Competition in Honor of Michael Brecker. Click on NEWS and CALENDAR to find additional information and a link announcing the winners.
In January of 2007 Ms. Brown had the honour of presenting her music in performance with her own band, Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra, at the 34th Annual IAJE Conference in New York City. It was also the final IAJE Conference held in New York City Conference. She also presented a clinic entitled "Parameters and Options in Big Band Writing," speaking to her creative process as pertains to her award-winning piece, "The Lighthouse." Each of these events were well-attended and received. With the start of the Fall 2007 semester Ms. Brown joined the esteemed jazz faculty of Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY, and New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ, offering studies in Jazz Composition & Arranging for undergraduate and graduate students, respectively.
Anita is proud to have registered Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra as a Charter Partner of "JEN," the Jazz Education Network. This organization picked up the pieces following the dissolution of IAJE in early 2009. Please check out the links page for further information.
As a certified, veteran music educator, Ms. Brown's educational materials have been designed to help foster strong foundations and good habits for young musicians both in school music programs and private study. Over the past twenty years Anita has become a specialist in starting young students on the piano and most bands instruments. She has had great success starting children as young as four at the piano.
With her extensive experience as a band director to children of all ages she has become expert at starting children with good posture, breathing and embouchure formation. While she often brings her students through middle school and into high school, her practice is to connect more dedicated and accomplished students with fine players at an appropriate time.
As a result of her work with so many children over the years Brown was inspired to create The Music Student's Companion. This consumable workbook is a management system designed to assist private teachers and parents in supporting students' progress by providing a central place for assignments, logging practice time, learning about the figures in musical notation, drawing characters and eventually leads young and novice students through the process of composition. If you are a private teacher or a parent who values private music study for your children, please feel free to e-mail your request for promotional materials about this book.
The Composer Residency Project is Anita's original curriculum design to work in conjunction with secondary school instrumental music programs. It was successfully piloted with two middle school bands in White Plains, NY with great excitement. A subsequent edition subtitled Let's Compose! is geared toward elementary school recorder/flutophone classes.
Visit the Photo Gallery see some photos of a residency at an elementary school in New Jersey. Both editions offer optional lessons which may be implemented prior to or following the scheduled residency period. In addition to the obvious goal of composing new music, these programs also offer the teacher optional lesson plans in active listening (a.k.a., listening while engaging the imagination), the concepts relating to intellectual property and copyright law.
Other clinics Ms. Brown offers include "What Does A Composer Do?" during which she introduces young people to her creative process and illustrates the difference between a tune and an orchestrated work through listening and viewing her works. Content is always age-appropriate and can be tailored to the needs of a specific program. In secondary schools discussion includes the importance of finding and following one's own passion.
At the college level Brown offers clinics specific to composition, arranging and the creative process as pertains to aspiring composer/conductors. Performance clinics are offered at all levels:
Ms. Brown is accepting commissions for various ensemble configurations of all levels and encourages interested parties to visit the LINKS page for information on Meet The Composer grant opportunities for schools and artists to work together.
Music educators who wish to learn more may e-mail Anita at ABrownJazzOrch@aol.com.
Visit PRODUCTS for free pdf's of promotional information about residencies and clinics.
Thank you for visiting this web site. Please check back often for new news! --AB