WMU News

Russell W. Brown

June 3, 2004

Russell W. Brown, associate professor emeritus of music at Western Michigan University, died May 24 at his home in Harlingen, Texas. He was 88.

Brown was associate professor of music at WMU from 1951 to 1986 and was a founding member of the Western Brass Quintet. The quintet performed across the United States, playing such high-profile venues as Little Carnegie Hall in New York.

Brown earned a bachelor's degree in 1938 from Oklahoma State University and a master's degree in 1950 from the University of Notre Dame. He also studied at the University of Illinois, University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

Prior to coming to WMU, Brown served as director of instrumental music at Panhandle A&M College from 1938 to 1941, a U.S. Army bandleader, 1941-45, and music supervisor of the Conn Vocational School in Elkhart, Ind., 1945-51.

While at WMU, Brown maintained a very active studio and was principal trombonist of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra for some 30 years. After his retirement and in honor of his work, an anonymous donor established a $250,000 endowment fund, creating the Russell Brown Brass Quintet Scholarship. The scholarship yields $25,000 a year, providing five brass students with $5,000 scholarships for each of their four years of study at WMU.

Memorial donations may be made to the Russell Brown Brass Quintet Scholarship, care of the WMU Foundation, 1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo MI 49008-5403.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

WMU News
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