College of Charleston SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

College of Charleston Names New Director of Choral Activities

Carlos B. Brown, D.M.A. stands next to grand piano and holds a conductor's batonCarlos B. Brown, D.M.A. joins our Department of Music as Director of Choral Activities. He will oversee the College’s Concert Choir and Gospel Choir – both open for participation by music and non-music majors. Under Brown’s baton, students will expand their skills, knowledge and repertoire and will perform during the department’s prolific concert season. We welcome Brown to our faculty and are excited for the nationally renowned choral program to flourish under his tutelage. 

Department chair Michael O’Brien enthuses, “Even before we met him, Dr. Brown impressed the music department faculty with the depth and breadth of his musicianship, not only as a choral conductor but also composer and arranger. Seeing him work with our choir, though, made it even more apparent that he is a dynamic, personable, and passionate teacher who will inspire our students to achieve great things!”


A native of Atlanta, Carlos B. Brown, D.M.A. is a conductor, lyric tenor, scholar and composer. After earning his bachelor’s degree in music from Benedict College, he received a Master of Music degree with distinction in Choral Conducting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Brown went on to earn a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting and Sacred Music from the prestigious University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).

He studied conducting with mentors who developed his depth of interpretation, proper execution of style, clarity of approach, baton technique, score analysis and technical acuity under such conducting specialists as Kenneth G. Bodiford, Linda L. Kershaw, who mentored with Natalie Hinderas; Peter A. Eklund, Tyler G. White, Earl G. Rivers, L. Brett Scott, Kevin Holzman, and Aik Khai Pung. He has taken conducting master classes with David Rayl, Jo-Michael Schiebe, Jean-Sebastien Valle, Grammy Award Winning conductor Jason Harris, Professor Andreas Hermann (Hochschule für Musik und Theater München) and Distinguished American composer and conductor Dale Warland. He has also pursued additional score study and conducting performance practices with his mentors Lloyd B. Mallory, Jr., David E. Morrow, and Maestro Mark Gibson.

Brown previously served as Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Central State University (CSU) in Wilberforce, Ohio, where he conducted the Grammy-nominated Central State University Chorus, and The Marauder Singers (Chamber Ensemble). Prior to his tenure at CSU, Brown served as Director of Choral Activities at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, and Lecturer of Music at Atlanta Metropolitan State College.

Conducting and professional highlights include conducting the choral performances of the CSU Chorus: Mozart Missa Brevis in D Major at Christ Church Cathedral (Cincinnati, OH) February 2023; “Sounds of Blackness: A Celebration of African American Music” at the Historic Lincoln Theatre (Columbus, OH) November 2022; The National Black College Football Hall of Fame Ecumenical Service August 2022; the Ohio Choral Directors Association (OCDA) Virtual Conference, June 2020, 2021; the CSU Chorus performance with Grammy Award winner Kanye West for the Dayton Sunday of Hope Service, Dayton, OH, August 2019; Te Deum, Op. 103 by Antonin Dvořák, Magnificat in D, Op. 486 by Franz Schubert, The College Conservatory of Music’s Choral Concert Series, November 2017; Geistliches Lied, Op. 30 by Johannes Brahms and Elegischer Gesang, Op. 118 by Ludwig van Beethoven both with string quartet, October 2016.

Because of Brown’s predilection for developing conductors and his devotion to the preservation of African American music, especially the Negro Spiritual, he was invited to publish an article in The Liturgical Journal titled “Perspectives on Choral Conducting: Exploring the Conductor’s Head, Hand, and Heart.” In January 2023 Brown was a guest lecturer and presenter at the International Conductors Guild Conference in Valencia, Spain.

Brown is a published composer and owns several choral copyrights including “We’re Climbing Jacob’s Ladder,” TTBB; “I’ve Been in the Storm for so Long,” TTBB; “If I Got My Ticket Can I Ride?” TTBB, SATB, and Solo Voices; “I’ve Never Seen the Righteous Forsaken,” SATB; and “A Choral Fanfare on We Shall Overcome,” TTBB. Publishers of his music credit the composer with having a great respect for the traditional choral setting of the spiritual while infusing innovative use of harmonic sequences and atypical rhythms.