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Matthew J. Brooks conductor

"Brooks brought the near-capacity audience to its feet in a lasting ovation…the orchestra and chorale had never sounded better." (Rappahannock Record)

Biography

Matthew J. Brooks is a conductor who is noted for his ability to engage and connect with musicians and audiences of all ages. Having worked with past and present musicians of the L.A. Philharmonic, Dallas Opera Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Las Vegas Philharmonic, and Richmond Philharmonic, as well as student musicians from middle school to graduate school, he brings a unique blend of humor, sensitivity, and leadership to each ensemble he conducts, regardless of age or experience.

Dr. Brooks is Director of Orchestras at the University of Nebraska at Omaha where he conducts the Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra and the UNO Chamber Orchestra, and teaches undergraduate music theory and graduate orchestral conducting. As part of a collaboration between the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and the UNO School of Music, Dr. Brooks was critical in creating the Nebraska Medical Orchestra, for which he is the founding music director and conductor. Starting in the fall of 2020, he will transition to a new role at UNO as Assistant Professor and Director of Orchestral Activities in Music & Medicine. In this new position, he will continue mentoring music students, but will also focus more on continuing and creating new collaborative initiatives with faculty, staff, and students at UNMC.

As an academic conductor, Dr. Brooks was previously on the music faculty at Shasta College in California where he directed the student orchestras, in addition to teaching music theory and aural skills. He has also conducted the James Madison University Orchestras in a number of regular performances, including annual concerts as part of Carnegie Hall’s Link Up program. Prior to that, he was the associate conductor of the UNLV Symphony with which he was involved in collaborations with Samuel Ramey, Frank Huang, Edgar Meyer, and Peter Schickele. In 2003 and 2004, he conducted the orchestra for the Nevada Artist-Entertainer Hall of Fame ceremonies honoring George Sidney and Tony Curtis, respectively. In addition to his orchestral conducting, Dr. Brooks has conducted a number of operas with the UNLV Opera Theatre and UNO Opera Theatre.

Dr. Brooks maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator having worked with musicians and ensembles both here and abroad. He has presented at state, national, and international conferences on topics ranging from conducting pedagogy to medical humanities, and is currently engaged in research related to music and wellness with colleagues from UNMC. He is the Assistant Editor for the College Orchestra Directors’ Association (CODA) Journal and Editor for the Nebraska Chapter of American String Teachers Association. He also holds affiliations with National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Nebraska Music Education Association (NMEA), American String Teachers’ Association (ASTA), and Pi Kappa Lambda -- the National Music Honor Society.

Dr. Brooks holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education, a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting, Pedagogy, and Literature.

Videos
Schedule

Upcoming Engagements:

  • April 17, 2020 Nebraska Medical Orchestra/UNO Chamber Orchestra Collaborative Concert, feat. Lynn Chang, violin and Lisa Wong MD, viola, Buffett Cancer Center (University of Nebraska Medical Center) - CANCELLED
  • April 28, 2020 UNO Orchestras Concert, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Strauss Performing Arts Center Concert Hall - CANCELLED
  • May 6, 2020 Nebraska Medical Orchestra, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Strauss Performing Arts Center Concert Hall - CANCELLED

Past Engagements:

  • Mar. 24, 2020 Council Bluffs All-City High School Orchestra Festival, Iowa Western Community College Arts Center - CANCELLED
  • Mar. 20, 2020 UNO Orchestras Run-Out Concerts at area High Schools (Millard Public Schools, Omaha Public Schools, Lincoln Public Schools) - CANCELLED
  • Mar. 11, 2020 UNO Chamber Orchestra Outreach Concert, Buffett Cancer Center (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
  • Mar. 6, 2020 Presenter, American String Teachers Association National Conference, Orlando, FL
  • Mar. 3, 2020 "Music of Remembrance: 75 Years Later," Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Strauss Performing Arts Center Concert Hall
  • Feb. 21, 2020, Presenter, California All-State Music Education Conference, Fresno, CA
  • Jan. 27, 2020 All-Millard Orchestra Festival, Ralston Arena, Ralston, NE
  • Jan. 26, 2020 BOCH Festival, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Dec 18, 2019 Nebraska Medical Orchestra Holiday Concert, Durham Outpatient Center Atrium (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
  • Dec. 10, 2019 UNO Orchestras Concert, feat. Heartland Philharmonic and UNO Chamber Orchestra, Strauss Performing Arts Concert Hall
  • Dec. 6, 2019 UNO Chamber Orchestra Outreach Concert, Buffett Cancer Center (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
  • Dec. 4, 2019 Sound Health collaboration between UNO and Millard North H.S. Orchestra, Buffett Cancer Center (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
  • Nov. 22, 2019 Presenter, Nebraska Music Education Association State Conference (University of Nebraska at Lincoln)
  • Nov. 19, 2019 UNO Student Concert Competition, Recital Hall, Strauss Performing Arts Center
  • Nov. 3, 2019 UNO Chamber Orchestra, Gallery 1516, Leavenworth Ave, Omaha, NE
  • Oct. 15, 2019 Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Strauss Performing Arts Concert Hall
  • Aug. 21, 2019 Nebraska Medical Orchestra, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Strauss Performing Arts Concert Hall
  • May 11, 2019 NE ASTA Young Orchestra Festival, Omaha, NE
  • May 1, 2019 Nebraska Medical Orchestra, Truhlsen Events Center (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
  • Apr. 18, 2019 International Concert Series, feat. Omaha Symphony and Heartland Philharmonic, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Apr. 12-13, 2019 UNO Opera Workshop, The Magic Flute, Gross Catholic High School, Bellevue, NE
  • Apr. 9, 2019 Nebraska Medical Orchestra, Buffett Cancer Center (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
  • Feb. 19, 2019 Heartland Philharmonic & Friends, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Strauss Performing Arts Center Concert Hall
  • Feb. 15, 2019 Nebraska Medical Orchestra, Well-Being Symposium, Scott Conference Center, Omaha, NE
  • Feb. 8, 2019 Loja Symphony Orchestra, Loja, Ecuador
  • Jan. 27, 2019 BOCH Festival, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Dec. 5, 2018 Nebraska Medical Orchestra Inaugural Concert, Durham Outpatient Center Atrium (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
  • Dec. 4, 2018 UNO Orchestras Concert, feat. Heartland Philharmonic and UNO Chamber Orchestra, First United Methodist Church of Omaha
  • Nov. 8, 2018 UNO Chamber Orchestra Outreach Concert, Buffett Cancer Center (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
  • Oct. 28, 2018 Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra's Family-Friendly "Haunt-cert", University of Nebraska at Omaha