Velvet Brown enjoys a professional career as an international soloist, chamber ensemble performer, recording artist, conductor, and orchestral player. She has performed and taught in Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Finland, France, England, Hungary, Slovenia, Russia, Japan, Cuba, Canada, and the United States. Brown is currently the principal tubist of the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra and the Altoona Symphony Orchestra. She has served as principal tuba with the River City Brass band, guest principal with the Lahti Philharmonic in Finland, and as substitute or additional tubist with the Detroit Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, San Francisco Women’s Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Having performed and worked closely with jazz and commercial artists regarded as some of the most influential musicians of all time, including Howard Johnson, Bob Stewart, and Doc Severinsen, she felt inspired to explore new territories in her music career. As a consequence, influenced also by some personal experiences, she decided to explore in music how life events shape one’s creativity and thus started a veritable music renaissance, which involves soul-searching musical patterns and a more profound relationship with the audience. She is the co- founder of MOJATUBA: Tuba and Dance Fusion Project and is in her 10th year as lead tuba with Howard Johnson’s “Gravity” Tuba Jazz Ensemble.
Brown has been an invited solo artist or tuba solo artist adjudicator at the International Tuba and Euphonium Conferences since1998. She has also served as guest conductor for festivals in the United States in Maine, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania as well as abroad in Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Japan, and Canada.
Brown has garnered high praise as a founding and current member of Stiletto Brass Quintet, Monarch Brass Quintet and Brass Ensemble, the Quintet of Americas (the first professional brass quintet to perform in Cuba), the Pennsylvania Brassworks, and founding member of Boston Brass. Moreover, she is also a founding board member of the International Women’s Brass Conference.
Brown is profoundly passionate about teaching and is the professor of tuba and euphonium at the Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State in 2003, she taught at Bowling Green State University (Ohio), Ball State University (Indiana), and served as an associate director of University Bands at Boston University. Many of her students have won prestigious national and international performing and teaching positions and are prize winners at various regional, national, and international competitions.
She has released four solo CDs and has collaborated on several other recordings as a soloist and ensemble member, such as Stiletto Brass Quintet featuring Doc Severinsen, trumpet, on one of her original compositions. She can also be heard as a featured soloist and lead ensemble tuba on a March 2017 CD release of Testimony, a recording with Howard Johnson’s “Gravity”. Other 2017 releases include a solo tuba jazz recording with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra with Paul Ferguson, director, and a classical CD of new music and transcriptions for tuba. Brown is a Besson/Buffet/Melton/Meinl Weston Performing Artist, performing on the MW 2250 and 2182 F tubas, and the MW 2000 and MW 3450 C tubas. She is also a performing artist for Denis Wick mouthpieces, mutes, and accessories.