Matt completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) in trombone performance and pedagogy at the University of Iowa. He is currently the adjunct low brass professor at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, IA, Kirkwood Community College (trombone) and elementary beginning band for eight hours at Bennett Elementary School. He also maintains a private studio with brass players ranging from beginning to advanced and stays active performing in various ensembles including the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band, Durward Ensemble, Eastern Iowa Brass Band, and BTA-Brass Transit Authority. Additionally, he serves as a substitute musician with the Des Moines Symphony, Peoria Symphony, and Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony. He has also performed with Cedar Rapids, Quad City, Ottumwa, and Gasdsen Symphony Orchestra (AL).
Before moving to Iowa, Matt taught in Tennessee in the Warren County School district, teaching for a total of two years. The first year Matt taught elementary music, K-6, the second year he taught middle school band while assisting the high school band.
Primary teachers include: David Gier, George Broussard, David Perkel, and James Roberts.
NEW ORLEANS BRASS BAND TRADITIONS AND POPULAR MUSIC: ELEMENTS OF STYLE IN THE MUSIC OF MAMA DIGDOWN’S BRASS BAND AND YOUNGBLOOD BRASS BAND
Matt’s research interests include the New Orleans Brass Band tradition; how popular music has influenced the bands and how the influence of the tradition transferred to other areas of the country resulting in the formation of hybrid bands. His dissertation, “New Orleans Brass Band Traditions and Popular Music: Elements of Style in the Music of Mama Digdown’s Brass Band and Youngblood Brass Band”, looks at Madison, Wisconsin, an area with two popular brass bands who began by studying the New Orleans brass bands’ culture and music. Those bands are Mama Digdown’s Brass Band and Youngblood Brass Band. You can access his dissertation here via ProQuest.
Mama Digdown’s is a brass band that performs original music in the traditional styles and forms of New Orleans brass band. Youngblood Brass Band started because Mama Digdown’s inspired them and began playing shows with Digdown’s and eventually breaking away to form their own band. They wanted to push the limits of the New Orleans brass band instrumentation by incorporating hip-hop, rap, jazz, 1980‘s pop music, rock, and heavy metal that is rolled up into an in-your-face drum corps brass sound that will make you want to move your head up and down to the groovy beats.
New Orleans Brass Bands:
Other areas of interest include performance anxiety and how exercise and aerobic fitness can be a form of meditation to help one’s focus during a performance.