Brian S. Wilson
Chair, Department of Music
Theory & Composition
What I Do at SSU
My background is in trombone, piano, music education, composition and conducting and thus I have taught just about every course in the curriculum. Versatility is my curse! I love teaching music theory and conducting groups for special projects. I teach Diatonic Harmony, Chromatic Harmony, Form and Analysis and Private Instruction in Composition. I also have been known to sweep the floors, wash the windows and take out the trash!
Composer/Conductor Brian Scott Wilson is a native of Lynn, MA, and a graduate of New England Conservatory (B.M.), the University of Chicago (M.A.) and the University of Arizona (D.M.A.). His teachers include Malcolm Peyton, Edward Diamente, Dan Asia, Ralph Shapey and Shulamit Ran (composition) and Barbara Schubert, Michael Walters, Gregg Hanson and Kurt Klippstater (conducting). He has participated in conducting workshops under Frederick Fennell and Sergiu Commissiona. Wilson is Chair of the Department of Music at Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA, where he also teaches Music Theory and Composition.
Finding inspiration in the music of Stravinsky, Mingus and Varese, Wilson’s eclectic style is a masterful blend of classic and jazz idioms that feels simultaneously familiar and new. Equally at home in symphonic, chamber, choral, and wind band milieus, Wilson's jazz-inflected harmonies are as evident in the whimsical Modes of Transportation for Orchestra as they are in the elegiac Orange Was Her Color for Wind Band. His deep spirituality finds expression in ways that are both obvious (Avinu Malkaynu setting for cantor and chamber ensemble) and unexpected (the award-winning Avanti for solo trombone and percussion).
Recent Awards/Grants/Honors: International Trombone Association Composition Competition 1st Prize; ASCAP Standard Award (15 years); Decentralization Grants (New York State Council Of The Arts) for commissions by Unatego Central School and Catskill Klezmorim; College Music Society, Pacific Central Chapter Composition Award (winner) for Symphony No. 2 "Modes of Transportation;" CMS National Composition Award (runner up) for Avinu Malkaynu; U.S. Department of Education Ensuring Access Through Collaboration And Technology (EnACT) Grant.