Wind & Rhythm is a one-hour weekly syndicated radio program devoted to the music of wind bands. Founded in 2008, it is the “gathering place for people who love band music”. It’s mission is to build a community of individuals who love wind bands, grow a wider audience for the music bands play, and to provide a venue for band members and directors to speak about their art. It’s on-air and online programming invite listeners to reconnect with their roots as members of bands as well as encouraging listeners to participate in community music-making. Hosted by Doug Brown, Wind & Rhythm provides for listeners an opportunity to hear the best bands in the world.
In September 2017, Wind & Rhythm announced Partners in Performance; a season-long partnership that will feature four adult wind bands. We are honored to be a Partner in Performance with the Dallas Winds, Eastern Wind Symphony and Lone Star Wind Orchestra.
We contacted Mr. Brown and asked him about hosting a music program, how Wind & Rhythm began and what music means to him.
Please tell us a bit about your journey in music and in life. The profound discovery after having put my trumpet down for more than five years was that expressing music with my instrument was part of my soul. You can put it down, but your soul longs for that expression.
What have been some of your musical influences? At Michigan State, I was privileged to perform for Leonard Falcone and Harry Begian and I’ll never be without their influence in my life.
Please share a bit about your favorite musical memory? On episode #1 of Wind & Rhythm I told my story of sitting in the band room at Michigan State for the first time. I had placed in 7th chair as a freshman and the chair was just in front of the snare drums. When we were asked to play the National Anthem it started (of course) with a drum roll. My head was inches from the drums. The drums were so intense that even though I knew I was playing, all – ALL – I could hear was the drum roll.
Please tell us when and why Wind & Rhythm began? After I lasted 10 weeks as a music major (ha!) I moved my major to the Communication Arts department and fixed my attention on television and radio. Afterwards I began a career in sound design and consulting and never did more than teach radio production as an adjunct at the University of Tulsa. When their NPR station asked me to create a wind band show, Wind & Rhythm was born in 2008.
Please share with our readers what is your favorite part of hosting a music program? Helping my fellow band members discover the amazing power of our community. There are over 38 million of us and once you’ve had the experience of playing in a band, it is a part of your character. Our music is the largest expression of classical music. Nearly every listener who enjoys classical music learned to love it while playing in a band. Wind & Rhythm started in 2008 in Tulsa but now is on 25 NPR stations and gets over 2 million listens a year!
I have been privileged to meet and get to know some of the greats in the wind band world and to be able to share their art with the audience is extremely rewarding.
What does music mean to you? Music is life. In a wind band, you breathe the music. And, you don’t make it by yourself. You have a guide, you work closely with others for a single goal and when the audience applauds, it goes straight to your heart.
What inspires you? This question could be answered so many ways. In the context of your format I believe I would have to say that my mentors inspire me, composers can simply roll my socks up and down, and the amazing dynamics of a live performance, especially if you have the chance to be on-stage can transport me.
What do you do to relax? I’m a workout kind of guy. Everyday. For fun!
Do you have any advice for young musicians? When the audience applauds, let it into your heart. They appreciate what you’re doing. They recognize how difficult it is to make music. They want to reward you. Consider how to accept their appreciation.
Please share any thoughts that you may have about the Northshore Concert Band. If I were closer I would come to every concert. Your amazing tradition of excellence is inspiring. It is an honor to have your organization as a Partner in Performance!
Please add anything else that you would like our audience to know about you. Because you hear me one-on-one it is easy to understand the magic of radio. It is mass media, and there are more than 40,000 listening to each program, but it is still individual and personal. People stop me and tell me that they know my voice. When they talk to me it is like we’re close friends. It is amazing!
Thank you Doug Brown for allowing us to use information from the Wind & Rhythm website.