A native of Portsmouth, Virginia, Ricardo T. Brown Jr. is the second child of Ricardo Sr. and Terry Brown. Music was always a major part of Mr. Browns life; His mother was a member of the gospel group “Family of Love” and his dad exposed him to the most interesting and soul stirring pieces daily. From an early age it was apparent that music would be his life’s work and after being selected to All District Band, All-State Band, Virginia Honor Band as well as the Governors School of the Performing Arts in high school, Mr. Brown explored every option of making music a career.
Mr. Brown began his teaching journey working under Mr. John Boyd as the Assistant Director at Princess Anne High School in 2005. He then moved on to W.E Waters Middle School, where he was previously a student, in 2007. He was then made the graduate assistant for the Norfolk State University Spartan Legion band program in 2009. After 7 great years at Waters, Mr. Brown was afforded the opportunity to join the faculty at Prairie View A&M University serving as the Assistant Director of Bands, Band Business Manager as well as Professor of music education and Director of the University Concert Band and Jazz Ensembles. After enjoying many successful years at “PV”, Mr. Brown was later appointed the Associate Director of Bands in 2014.
Currently, Ricardo Brown serves as the Associate Director of Bands and Interim Wind Ensemble Director at the University of Connecticut. These responsibilities include show design and music ensemble direction for the “Pride of Connecticut Marching Band” as well as directing the UCONN Pep Band which supports our World Champion Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams. Mr. Brown also serves on the music faculty at the university teaching music education courses as well as serving on multiple committees and arranging for the university big band and all athletic ensembles. Together, the UCMB staff, Mr. Brown helped lead the UCMB to being a Sudler Trophy Finalist in 2018.
When not working with UCONN Bands, Mr. Brown is an active clinician, adjudicator, and performer. This includes judging in the TOB, US Bands, Virginia Marching Band Cooperative, and Texas UIL Circuits respectively. As a clinician, Mr. Brown has been afforded the opportunity to travel the country working with multiple programs on developing quality musicianship and performance practices. It is truly a passion of Mr. Browns to impart his knowledge of band performance onto students while also instilling a love of music. Mr. Brown has also performed with numerous ensembles including the Virginia Symphony, Virginia Beach Symphony, Fancy Pants Productions, The Right on Band, numerous churches, NASCAR, Houston Symphony, Ballet Afrique Cotton Club, and the New London Big Band, just to name a few. When not performing, Mr. Brown enjoys a budding conducting career. This includes having worked with multiple All- City and All-District Bands, college and high school ensembles, attending conducting clinics, and the highlight of his conducting career, conducting The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines in 2007.
In the Marching Arts, Mr. Brown has enjoyed a truly amazing career. He started his marching experience in DCI with the Crossmen in 1999 as a lead soprano performer. He then moved on to The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 2001 enjoying 4 great years. Drum Corps fans may recognize him as being a member of the Malaguena trio in the Cadets 2003 show, “Our Favorite Things.” After aging out in 2004, Mr. Brown was immediately hired by the Cadets and served as a trumpet instructor, administrative team member, as well as coordinator of the “Music is Cool” clinics, working with thousands of students across the country. While with the Cadets, Mr. Brown captured his first DCI World Championship in 2005, while tying at the time the highest score ever as well as winning every sub caption. After the 2006 season, Mr. Brown took a break from DCI to focus on becoming a better educator, but was afforded the opportunity to return to the activity joining the amazing staff of the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle in 2014 with the fan favorite show “TILT.” While with the Bluecoats Brass Team, Mr. Brown enjoyed many firsts with the corps, including receiving the highest placements in the corps history with our 2nd place finish in 2014, winning our fist caption, all culminating in winning his second DCI World Championship in 2016. While assisting in growing the Bluecoats Brass program, Mr. Brown was promoted to lead trumpet tech and later assistant brass caption head in 2021. When not teaching junior corps, Mr. Brown also serves as Brass Consultant with the Caballeros Senior Corps from Hawthorne, NJ. Recently, the Cabelleros won the 2021 DCA World Championship. Currently, Mr. Brown serves as the Brass Caption head of the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps.
Rick received both his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Norfolk State University where he received a B.S. in Music Education and a Masters in Trumpet performance under the tutelage of Dr. Steven Carlson and Dr. Timmey Zachery. Currently, Mr. Brown is in the final stages of completing his Doctorate (DMA) degree in Conducting from the University of Connecticut with an anticipated completion date of May 2022. His primary conducting instructors were Dr. Vu Nguyen and Maestro Andre Raphel. Mr. Brown’s professional affiliations have included memberships in Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated, Texas Music Educators Association, Connecticut Music Educators Association, ITG (International Trumpet Guild) and the Texas Jazz Educators’ Association. Previously, Mr. Brown was also a member of the Virginia Music Educators Association. When not working, Mr. Brown is an avid technology lover and connoisseur of great music regardless of genre. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Tiffany, and their dog, Hooch.
“It is truly my honor and privilege to serve the UCONN family, and I promise that any student that chooses to join us will receive a musical experience that is second to none while also having the time of their lives. Together we will build upon the great legacy that this amazing ensemble has established, and I look forward to contributing to the legacy.”