Born in Big Rapids, Michigan (USA), in 1947, Dr. Glen Edward Newton is a third-generation composer. Whereas his mother and grandfather were both known for their compositions for piano and violin, Glen focuses on music for wind instruments and jazz ensembles. He began writing original works for instrumental and vocal ensembles in sixth grade. Since then, his compositions have been performed by concert bands, orchestras, vocal ensembles, jazz bands, and brass ensembles in the United States and abroad.
While earning his Ph.D. in computer science, Glen managed to find time for a few musical activities—singing in a barbershop chorus, writing the script for one of their shows, creating arrangements sung by the district champion barbershop quartet, and covering some of his school expenses by playing guitar in a combo.
After moving to a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, Glen was honored to participate in two grant-funded composers’ workshops through the West Bank School of Music.
Glen has directed the Roseville Big Band (www.rosevillebigband.org) since 1989. He has written several compositions for the band, including their theme song, Dance to the Big Band Swing.
Glen plays trombones—from soprano to bass—and euphonium, piano, and timpani in the Minneapolis Trombone Choir and has contributed numerous compositions to their repertoire. He also plays trombone and cornet in traditional jazz bands and fills in on brass and percussion in local orchestras.
He plays euphonium in the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band (STBB), based in Red Wing, Minnesota. The STBB gave the premiere brass band performance of Agnus Dei and several of his other compositions, including Bur Oak Suite, The Express, and Christmas is Just 'Round the Corner . The STBB’s CD Black, White, and Blue includes Glen’s musical depiction of the folk hero John Henry as a 21st century Brass-Driving Man.