Velvet Brown enjoys a professional career as an international soloist and chamber ensemble performer, recording artist, conductor and orchestral player. She has made regular appearances throughout Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Finland, France, England, Hungary, Slovenia, Russia, Japan, Canada and the United States. Ms. Brown is currently the principal tubist of the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra and the Altoona Symphony Orchestra. She has served as guest principal tuba with Lahti Philharmonic Orchestra in Lahti, Finland and the River City Brass Band (Pittsburgh, PA). Brown has also performed as substitute principal or additional tubist with the Detroit Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, San Francisco Women’s Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Since March 2005, Velvet plays lead tuba in Howard Johnson’s Jazz Tuba Ensemble “Gravity!” which appeared on Garrison Keillor’s show “Prairie Home Companion” in December 2006 for National Public Radio. She has also garnered high praise as a founding and current member of the Monarch Brass Quintet and Brass Ensemble, the Junction Tuba Quartet, the Pennsylvania Brass Works (Faculty Brass Quintet at Penn State), Boston Brass and as a soloist with the Percussion Plus Project.
Velvet Brown is professor of tuba and euphonium at the Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State, she taught at Bowling Green State University (Ohio), Ball State University (Indiana), and served as an associate director of University Bands at Boston University. She has had many successful students who have won prestigious playing and teaching positions as well as prizewinners at various regional, national and international competitions. Ms. Brown served as a 2007-2008 Academic Leadership Program Fellow representing Penn State as a member of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation. Brown was also a Martin Luther King, Jr./César Chávez/Rosa Parks Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan in 2002. She is also noted for receiving the 1999-2000 William Fulbright Fellowship Vinciguerra Award. Brown was awarded the 2009 Faculty Scholar Medal Penn State University and the 2005 College of Arts and Architecture Creative Arts Grant from Pennsylvania State University. She is a founding board member of the International Women’s Brass Conference and has served as the secretary of the Executive Committee for the International Tuba and Euphonium Association (ITEA) from 2001-2007.
Velvet has released three solo CDs (“Velvet,” “Music for Velvet,” and “Perspectives: Sound and Rhythm”) on the Crystal Records label, and a CD for the Nicolai Music Label performing music by the award-winning composer Neal Corwell. Ms. Brown can also be heard on the Bowling Green Philharmonia’s “Composer’s Voice - Volume IV” recording (Albany Records) in her interpretation of John Williams’ Tuba Concerto and on the NAXOS label, released July 2010, performing music by James Lentini. Her newest solo CD will be released in May 2011.
Velvet Brown is a Meinl Weston artist. She performs on the MW 2155 F tuba, the MW2182 F tuba and the MW2000 CC tuba. She plays with the Denis Wick 3SL mouthpiece.