Mt. San Jacinto College Music Program Picks Up Tempo

Contributed content: Jeremy Brown, associate professor and chair of the MSJC Music Department, ...

Contributed content:
Jeremy Brown, associate professor and chair of the MSJC Music Department, conducts students in a studio during recording of the CD "Hop Scotch".
A new music degree and CD recordings are taking the Music Department at Mt. San Jacinto College to a new level.

Jeremy Brown, associate professor and chair of the Music Department at MSJC, has been dividing his time between the classroom and the recording studio. Brown, also director of the college’s Menifee Jazz Ensemble, has recently released two albums -- one entitled "Hop Scotch" and the other "Jeremy Brown Quartet."

Both albums highlight student performers from the ensemble. Brown said recording in a studio gives MSJC music students real-world experience, as well as a taste of the pressures involved in that aspect of the industry.

As an instructor, Brown said being in the studio as both musician and producer keeps him current and enhances what he can bring to students in the classroom.

“The recording experience finds its way back to the classroom in several ways,” said Brown. “I can speak from my own experience, and when I play or demonstrate or offer advice, it’s coming from someone who’s actively making music. Ultimately, though, it’s all about having fun and creating music. The spirit of creation is hopefully what translates and inspires students.”

"Jeremy Brown Quartet" is a collection of 10 new songs and older tunes Brown has written over the years. Brown said that making the album gave him the opportunity play a selection of his original music and to reconnect with an old friend, Price, whom he knew in college.

“The musicians were great,” Brown said. “[They are] just a really great bunch of LA jazz musicians.”

Ticket sales for concerts and performances by the Menifee Jazz Ensemble over the years helped pay for the making of "Hop Scotch," and as for "Jeremy Brown Quartet," Brown used the website Kickstarter to help fund the CD.

Brown is an accomplished musician and professor. He earned a masters and doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas. While in Austin, he performed as a drummer and classical percussionist, playing with groups ranging from big rock & roll bands to blues, funk and classical.

He also toured with “Chicago – The Musical” during his last year Texas and was a member of Disney All-Star College Bands.

Brown, who is married, has two young sons and lives in Temecula, has been teaching at MSJC since 2007. He started as a part-time instructor teaching a handful of classes. His goal then, he said, was to learn what it is like to be on a community college campus and eventually to become a full-time professor.

“It’s really been a great ride. It really matches me well,” said Brown. “I’ve been a professional musician for a long time. Being a professor is another side of me. I like both. I like introducing people to music.”

Brown looks forward to the upcoming school year and beyond because of changes at the college, including the new music degree that Brown hopes will attract more students to the program.

MSJC will provide copies of the CD and Brown said this will help “spread the word about the great things happening in MSJC music.”

Brown said he would eventually like to see the formation of additional musical ensembles at the college and a new performing arts center.

"Hop Scotch" is available through the college’s Music Department for $15 each or two for $25. It soon will be available at MSJC bookstores. "Jeremy Brown Quartet" is available through CDbaby and iTunes.

For more information about the MSJC music program or the CDs, Brown can be reached at jebrown@msjc.edu

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