Matthew McGarrell is the Director of Bands and Senior Lecturer in Music at Brown University. In addition to conducting the Wind Symphony and Jazz Band he teaches courses in music theory, jazz history and transcription & analysis of jazz and is the Advisor to the Brown Band. Raised in New Hampshire, he is a graduate of the Loyola University College of Music in New Orleans where he studied trombone with Richard Erb. Prior to his appointment at Brown in 1984, he performed with professional orchestras and jazz bands (including the New Orleans Philharmonic, the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra and the New Orleans Saints Stadium Jazz Band) and taught at the University of New Hampshire and Northeastern University. He has adjudicated and guest conducted high school and college wind groups in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, The Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal and Japan. McGarrell's professional affiliations include the New England College Band Association, The College Band Directors National Association and the International Percy Grainger Society of which he is a member of the Board of Trustees. During his recent sabbatic leave (January - August 2010), McGarrell was living in Portugal where he played trombone with the Banda Filarmónica de Covões. He is currently preparing editions of Portuguese band music collected in Portugal for performance by American bands.
In addition to standard works by Holst, Mozart, and Hindemith, the Wind Symphony performs new pieces written for unique combinations of instruments. Concerts in recent years have featured a range of impressive guest artists, including trombonist Alexei Doohovskoy '98 (of the Rhode Island Philharmonic), jazz trumpetist Mike Metheny, pianist Randall Hodgkinson (of the New England Conservatory), saxophonist Michael Leonard, trumpetist Charles Schlueter (of the Boston Symphony Orchestra), violinist Charles Sherba, pianist Jan Jiracek, bassoonist William Buchman (of the Chicago Symphony), Klezmer virtuoso clarinetist Margot Leverett, saxophonist Sigur∂ur Flosason, The Charleston String Quartet, trombonist Ron Barron (of the Boston Symphony Orchestra), composer David Amram, composer Eric Ewazen (of the Julliard School), trombonist Sam Woodhead (of the US Army Band), conductor Fausto Moreira (of the Filarmónica de Covões, Portugal) and conductor Lt. Col. Philip Evans (Director of the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Engineers).
The Wind Symphony has performed in concerts at Brown, Tufts University, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dartmouth College and McGill University in Montreal, as well as concerts in London and Paris.