Anita Brown

category: Music,

Contact & Info

Artist Statement

Anita loves working with students of all levels in a wide array of settings.

As a result of her passions in music composition and music education, she created original curricula to bring young students through the process of music composition "organically".  This strange use of this word simply means composing with an instrument in hand, using the language of music notation with paper, pencil, an eraser and some fun collaboration with classmates. 

These two unique curricula are designed to serve elementary classroom recorder classes and/or secondary school instrumental programs, planning and booking finite periods of time for a residency. 

An alternative to a residency in music composition, a General Music residency called What Does A Composer Do? is designed for ages 5-12. It introduces pertinent vocabulary, utilizes simple demonstrations with a Q&A option, incorporates an original song for all to sing and activities for reflection and follow-up.  

Let's Compose! for elementary recorder class works beautifully in Spring for first year players and any time of year for more experienced players. With custom planning, residencies using at least five sessions produce wonderful results.

The Composer Residency Project for secondary school instrumentalists assumes students have command of a Concert Bb Scale and most of the chromatic scale on their instrument.  A five-session minimum offers the best results and a 5-15 session booking can yield far more.  With custom planning, a residency with Anita can offer students the sense of empowerment, bring creative inspiration and is designed to prompt discussion about intellectual property.

Commissions:  Anita is accepting commissions for new music composed specifically for your ensemble, be it of traditional instrumentation and size or one of unique instrumentation for which commercial music is not available.  All levels accommodated as per consultation. 

Ms. Brown also has experience with and very much enjoys working with the elderly in senior living facilities.  She encourages residents to learn basic improvisation at the piano in duet with her, and/or to sing along with her at the piano.

Educational Background

Brown has been a respected composer/conductor on the New York jazz circuit since 1995. She is the recipient of a 2019 NYSCA Individual Artist Composer Commission award and has been commissioned The Count Basie Orchestra, Westchester Jazz Orchestra, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, The Frank Wess Nonet. Her works have been performed by The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, The US Army Jazz Ambassadors and her own Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra. Brown received an ASCAP Award for New Big Band Music for The Lighthouse and a Legislative Proclamation by The Honorable Harriet D. Cornell, Chairperson of The Rockland County Legislature, for Stand: A Symphony for Jazz Orchestra, a work commemorating our National tragedy on 9/11. Ms. Brown’s passion for engaging others in musical activity is the source of creative solutions backed by a broad spectrum of experience.

As an eight-year Fellow in the prestigious BMI Jazz Composers Workshop in New York City, Brown honed her skills as a composer/arranger under the tutelage of renowned composers, Jim McNeely and Manny Albam.

Her Bachelors and Masters degrees are both in Music Education from University of New Hampshire at Durham and CUNY Herbert H. Lehman College, respectively.

Teaching Artist Experience

In parallel career tracks as a composer and music educator, Ms. Brown has taught all aspects of music K-12 in public, private and parochial schools. Her passion for music composition and leading bands from the podium generated a series of compositions designed for beginner bands whose members may struggle with reading language and musical notation. Her original curricula in music composition have been successfully implemented with elementary recorder classes and secondary school bands through public school re-granting for independent teaching artists in the public school districts of Nyack, Rye Brook, White Plains, NY and Lincoln Park, NJ.

Brown has conducted world premieres of her original works with Las Vegas Academy for Performing Arts Jazz Ensemble (Las Vegas), Clarkstown High School North Concert and Jazz Ensembles (New City), The Rockland Country Day School Bands and Chorus (Congers), Highlands Middle School Band, Solomon Schechter Beginner Band (White Plains), Columbus and Pennington Elementary School Bands (Mt.Vernon).

In addition, Ms. Brown has been trained in the needs of communities living with the progression of dementia and has enjoyed offering musical activities in senior living facilities.

All inquiries for planning exciting, customized musical experiences for your students or community are welcomed. E-mail Anita today!