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This is my story

Jesse Brown ’12

Taking Musical Notes

I received my Master of Music degree in composition in 2012 from University of Hartford’s The Hartt School. I studied orchestration, counterpoint, and music history during two years of study and composed the score for the production of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet under the guidance of Professor Stephen Gryc.

That experience not only taught me how to prepare music for plays, but also gave me practical lessons in working with directors and all of the different types of music they may want for their shows. Many of my classmates, as well as undergraduates, had similar opportunities to compose music for plays and for orchestras, bands, and chamber groups on campus.

I recommend that aspiring composers go to some of the hundreds of productions Hartt students and faculty present every year. Seeing my colleagues’ work was one of the most important things I did at the University. The standards are incredibly high, so it is extremely rewarding to see and listen to what others are performing. I also traveled throughout Connecticut and to Boston and New York as often as possible to attend concerts.

Writing always came in little bursts for me. Before I attended Hartt, I was very haphazard in the way I went about things and much of it was guess work. Now I am proud of what I’ve created. Of course we all want to have that one concert work that sticks in the cannon for years and years and we become known for, so that gives me something to strive for.


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