Gregory W. Brown is a freelance conductor in Western Massachusetts, having recently finished a three-year appointment as Assistant Director of Choral Activities and Lecturer at Smith College in Northampton, MA, where he conducted the Smith College Chorus and taught conducting, choral literature, and sight-singing. Prior to his time at Smith College, Brown served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at The College of Wooster, where he conducted the Wooster Chorus. Other positions have included posts conducting at Amherst College, the University of Georgia, and The Putney School.
In January of 2004, he was one of 6 conductors chosen from an international pool to take part in the 24th National Conductor’s Symposium with Jon Washburn and the Vancouver Chamber Choir. Though primarily a choral conductor, Brown also conducts chamber and orchestral music, with a special interest in new music. Other recent engagements include acting as chorus master for the Five College Opera, and interim director of choral activities at Amherst College for spring 2018.
Brown’s compositions have been performed across the United States and Europe — most notably in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Cadogan Hall in London, and the Kleine Zaal of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. His commissions for vocal ensemble New York Polyphony have been heard on American Public Media’s Performance Today, BBC Radio, Minnesota Public Radio, Kansas Public Radio, and Danish National Radio; his Missa Charles Darwin received its European debut in March 2013 at the Dinosaur Hall of Berlin’s Museum für Naturkunde.
Brown’s 2015 CD of original choral and vocal works — Moonstrung Air — was Q2’s Album of the Week for Feb 16th, noting that “[Brown’s] command of transcendent sound is constant…the pieces ring like higher-power-bells, those of science, faith and the human voice.”
Brown’s latest major work — un/bodying/s — was premiered by Philadelphia choir The Crossing in June 2017. This 35-minute cantata for 24 voices uses new texts by poet Todd Hearon and focuses on issues of displacement and ecology around the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir. Other current and recent commissions include works for the Seattle Bach Choir, Ensemble Nobiles (Leipzig), Boston Choral Ensemble, soprano Mary Hubbell (USA), contralto Kristine Gether (Denmark), countertenor Geoffrey Silver (UK), and others.