Brent A. Morden (b. 1997) is a New York-based composer, arranger, conductor, music director, and performer. Having written chamber music performed by groups including International Contemporary Ensemble, Mivos Quartet, and loadbang, Morden has regularly written for Columbia University student music groups. In March 2017 and March 2018, Morden conducted the respective premieres of his wind ensemble works Concertino and Danzón with the Columbia University Wind Ensemble at their Ninth and Tenth Annual Festival of Winds. Danzón earned Morden both third place in the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra's 2017-18 Emerging Composers Competition and national finalist in The American Prize in Composition, 2018-19.
From September 2017 to December 2018, Morden music directed his a cappella group Uptown Vocal, during which time he also music directed acclaimed musical theater productions of Urinetown and an original adaptation, Written in the Stars, at Columbia University (November 2017). In March 2019, Morden conducted the CU Wind Ensemble in premiering his original work Fell Swoop (2019) at Carnegie Hall and the Eleventh Annual Columbia Festival of Winds.
In addition to playing euphonium with the Wind Ensemble, of which he was President, Morden has played with the Columbia University Big Band and sung in Columbia jazz a cappella group Uptown Vocal, which regularly performs his arrangements. Seeking to diversify his compositional palette, in 2018 Morden co-wrote and composed an an original musical, Once Upon a Fortnight, which premiered at Columbia University in November 2018. Morden also recently finished working on The 125th Annual Varsity Show as co-composer/lyricist.
During the summers of 2017 and 2018 Morden extended beyond Columbia University to rehearse and conduct the Concert Band at Summer Arts Institute, a selective program for New York City public middle and high school students.
Nowadays, Morden works as Choir Manager for Every Voice Choirs, teaches test prep classes, freelance acts, and sings with Christmas Matters Holiday Carolers. Morden graduated from Columbia University in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, magna cum laude, where he additionally served for two years as a Resident Advisor. In his spare time, Morden enjoys running in the park.
Curriculum vitae (updated May 29, 2019).
September 6th - Brent sings at the "Just More Cabaret" showcase at The Playroom Theater (NYC).
July 19th, 20th, 21st - Brent acts in the off-off-Broadway sketch comedy show "A Sketch of New York" at Producer's Club Theaters (NYC).
June 25th - August 14th - Brent performs across Long Island in a touring musical theater production of The Prince Street Players' Cinderella with Plaza Theatricals, where he played Prince Charming.
May 3rd, 4th, 5th - The 125th Annual Varsity Show, an original musical created by Columbia students, for which Brent A. Morden wrote music/lyrics, music directed, orchestrated, and conducted.
May 4th - CU Wind Ensemble's Spring Outdoor Concert, where Brent A. Morden conducts his Fell Swoop (2019) and a medley arrangement of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess.
April 29th - Brent A. Morden is elected into Phi Beta Kappa, the national honor society and highest scholastic distinction in Columbia College.
April 28th - EUPHONISMS, Brent A. Morden's senior recital, featuring original songs, euphonium solos, stand up comedy, poetry, and more.
April 27th - Uptown Vocal's final concert, "LUV at First Flight," where Brent A. Morden sings his senior solo "Come Fly with Me" and conducts his arrangement of "April in Paris."
March 25th - CU Wind Ensemble performs in Carnegie Hall, where Brent A. Morden conducts the world premiere of his piece Fell Swoop (2019) and plays euphonium.
December 9th - International Contemporary Ensemble premieres En Autuno (2018) at the Columbia Undergraduate Composition Concert in The Italian Academy.
December 7th - "UV Got Run Over By A Reindeer!," Uptown Vocal's winter 2018 concert, featuring several Brent A. Morden arrangements in his last concert as Music Director.
November 18th - Columbia University Wind Ensemble's annual fall concert, Journeys in Music, where Brent A. Morden conducts Xerxes by John Mackey.
November 9th-11th - Once Upon a Fortnight, an original comedy musical co-written and composed by Brent A. Morden, premieres at Columbia University's Black Box Theater.
August 1st - Brent A. Morden conducts the Summer Arts Institute Concert Band in performing excerpts from his original work Danzón (2018) for Wind Ensemble at the Tony Bennett Concert Hall, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts.
June 30th - Members of Yarn/Wire and the 2018 Yarn/Wire Institute premiere Interrobang (2018) for Two Pianos and Vibraphone at the Staller Center, Stony Brook University.
April 26th - Benjamin Fingland premieres Lullaby in Due Time (2018) for Solo Bb Clarinet, and Brent A. Morden premieres Configuration No. 1 (2018) for Solo Voice, at the Columbia Undergraduate Composers Concert in Symphony Space.
April 16th - The Music Performance Program at Columbia University awards Brent A. Morden the 2018 Richard and Brooke Kamin Rapaport Summer Music Performance Fellowship to fund his attendance of the 2018 Yarn/Wire Institute.
April 14th - Columbia University Big Band performs at Casa Italiana (Columbia University), featuring Brent A. Morden on trumpet.
March 9th-13th - Uptown Vocal tours Southern California, singing with fellow collegiate a cappella groups and performing for local communities.
March 4th - Brent A. Morden conducts the Columbia University Wind Ensemble in the premiere of his original work Danzón (2018) for Wind Ensemble.
February 18th - Columbia Musical Theater Society presents its first annual 24-Hour Musical, Music Directed by Brent A. Morden.
January 17th - Brent A. Morden wins 3rd place in the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra's Emerging Composers Competition with Danzón (2016) for Orchestra.
December 7th - Columbia University Big Band performs at Symphony Space, featuring Brent A. Morden on euphonium.
November 19th - "Childlike Wonder," Columbia University Wind Ensemble's fall concert, in Roone Arledge Auditorium (Alfred Lerner Hall, Columbia University).
November 16th-18th - The Pale Blue presents Written in the Stars, a space-Western comedy musical starring and Music Directed by Brent A. Morden, in Rennert Hall (Kraft Center, Columbia University).
November 10th-11th - Columbia Musical Theater Society presents Urinetown (Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis), Music Directed by Brent A. Morden, in Roone Arledge Auditorium (Alfred Lerner Hall, Columbia University).
July 26th - Brent A. Morden conducts Night on Fire by John Mackey with the Summer Arts Institute Concert Band in Frank Sinatra School of the Arts.
April 21st - Columbia University Big Band performs at Symphony Space, featuring Brent A. Morden on euphonium and vocals, and his arrangement of "Suits Are Picking Up the Bill" (Squirrel Nut Zippers).
March 24th - Columbia University Wind Ensemble performs at Carnegie Hall.
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