Sousa historian/tuba player Matthew K. Brown has been lecturing publicly on a wide variety of topics since 1994.
John Philip Sousa, one our nation’s greatest composers, was more than a world-famous bandmaster; he was a devout husband and father, a master of entertainment, a true patriot, and “Salesman of Americanism”. Through multimedia presentations, Mr. Brown brings the great American bandmaster to life, incorporating original recordings (often played on antique cylinder and disc phonographs), photographs, and various other Sousa ephemera drawn from his personal collection of Sousa memorabilia. On occasion, Mr. Brown even performs as Sousa, dressed in an exact replica of one of Sousa’s later band uniforms. On special request, Mr. Brown includes a performance on the original 1893 Sousaphone, believed to be the prototype instrument created over one hundred years ago for Mr. Sousa by the J. W. Pepper Company.
2007 marked the 75th anniversary of Sousa’s death in Reading, PA (Brown’s hometown), and to mark the occasion Mr. Brown was asked to give numerous lectures, and even participated in a recreation of what would have been Sousa’s final concert – a performance that took place in the hotel where Sousa died.
Mr. Brown has also appeared as a guest conductor for many Sousa-themed concerts, many times doing so dressed as the famous bandmaster himself.
“…our best program in memory. Thank you!” – Shelly Brunner, Program Director – Chevy Chase Historical Society
“Our residents came away with an understanding of John Phillip Sousa, the man. The program was the perfect blend of education and entertainment, and they enjoyed every minute of it!” – Karen Clevenstine, Activities Facilitator – Spring Run at Willow Valley
Some quotes from audience members:
“This was the best program we have had this year”
“Matt’s costume and pince nez glasses made me feel that I was in the presence of Sousa himself”
“Matt certainly did a lot of research to give us a very complete understanding of Sousa as a person”
“I thought I knew a lot about Sousa before, but I now appreciate his contribution to American music even more”
“Thank you for making John Phillip Sousa come alive in our retirement community just before our Veterans Day celebration”
Matthew K. Brown is available for lectures, presentations, and as a guest conductor.
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