Conductor Profile: Keith Brion
As a tribute to the 4th of July holiday weekend, today's post will feature Keith Brion, one the foremost scholars/conductors of the music of John Philip Sousa, who holds a unique and important place in the world of conductors. He built the early part of his career primarily as a director of orchestral pops concerts, and since the founding of his New Sousa Band, he has impressed audiences throughout the nation with his knowledge and acute attention to detail in his performance practice of Sousa's music as as art, not simply entertainment. Below is Keith Brion's bio found on his band's website.
Keith Brion, Music Director of his own New Sousa Band, has appeared as a frequent guest conductor with nearly all of America's major symphony orchestras and professional bands. His New Sousa Band, begun in 1979, is a realization of Mr. Brion's dream to reincarnate the Sousa Band and once again tour America's towns and cities.
He has been a frequent guest conductor of professional bands among which are the Stockholm Symphonic Wind Orchestra, New York City's Goldman Band, The California Wind Orchestra, and the Allentown Band. He has also appeared with most of the major service bands, including the U.S. Marine Band, Army Field Band, Army Band, Coast Guard Band and the U.S. Army Band of Europe in Heidelberg, Germany. University and school band appearances have included Florida State, Michigan State, University of Texas, Ohio State, Kentucky and the University of Iowa, plus the National Music Camp at Interlochen.
In addition to leading the New Sousa Band, Mr. Brion maintains an active career as an orchestra conductor, presenting his popular Sousa revival concerts with almost all of America's symphony orchestras, including the Boston Pops, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the St. Louis, Dallas, Milwaukee symphonies. His overseas orchestral engagements have included the London Concert Orchestra and the Gothenburg Symphony.
Keith Brion is a former Director of Bands at Yale University, where he led the Yale Band in concerts at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and in an all-Ives program program at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw. Prior to coming to Yale, he was the founder and music director of the North Jersey Wind Symphony and a long-time band educator and music supervisor in the New Jersey public schools.
He has published many editions for band, including the music of Charles Ives, Percy Grainger, John Philip Sousa, and D.W. Reeves, and is the author of numerous articles. He has published a series of Sousa publications in collaboration with Loras Schissel, curator of the Sousa collection at the Library of Congress. These Sousa editions are published by Willow Blossom Music and distributed by the CL. Barnhouse Co. A new Sousa series: "New Sousa Band Editions", is being published by Southern Music Co. of San Antonio.
Mr. Brion is currently recording the complete wind music of John Philip Sousa for Naxos records with London's Royal Artillery Band. Eight volumes of a projected 16 CD series have been recorded.