Garrett A. Brown ’17 chose Shenandoah to specifically work with Assistant Director of Recruitment and Associate Professor of Bassoon Ryan Romine, D.M.A. “Having worked with him extensively prior to my time at SU, I knew exactly the kind of teacher I would be getting,” said Brown. “He always went above and beyond as a teacher and mentor. I would not be where I am today without his support and guidance.”
Brown’s fondest memories of his time at the university are with the friends he made there. These relationships are some of the closest he has and they are still his friends to this day. “I am extremely thankful for them and their help during my time at SU and beyond,” said Brown.
Brown is a bassoonist with the United States Air Force (USAF) Band of Mid-America just outside of St. Louis, Missouri. The band tours the surrounding area, plays ceremonies and does recording projects. Prior to his current position, he was a freelance bassoonist and adjunct music professor at Five Towns College in Dix Hills, New York.
One of the most rewarding parts of Brown’s career so far is winning the audition for the spot as bassoonist in the USAF Band of Mid-America. “So much time and preparation goes into an audition that may only last a few minutes,” said Brown. “Being able to perform well on the spot is very challenging and something that we are constantly training to perfect.”
Brown believes that his Shenandoah education prepared him for his career by challenging him to learn more everyday and take advantage of whatever opportunities came his way.
“I tried to do as much as I could while at Shenandoah and that really helped me to broaden my horizons,” said Brown. “Because of these experiences, I felt comfortable going out of my comfort zone to take as many auditions for as many different performance opportunities as possible.”
Brown’s advice to students is: “Never become complacent. Always strive to improve in one way or another. This could be exploring different genres of music or trying a piece with a new extended technique or tackling that new eétude book. Anything to keep moving forward.”