Glen Newton

Glen listens through headphones.

Glen enjoyed the playback of "Waltzing Matilda" at Studio M in March, 1998.

Hear Glen singing on "Rosie the Riveter".
Hear Glen singing on "Moon River".

Glen improvised a trumpet solo on "All of Me" at Edinborough Park, March 23, 1993.

Hear Glen soloing on trumpet on "String of Pearls"
Hear Glen soloing on vibes and trumpet on "My Little Girl".
Hear Glen soloing on trumpet and soprano trombone on "Woodchopper's Ball".
Hear Glen play alto trombone solos on "Brown Wore Black".

Glen plays stright toward the camera.

Glen plays with two mallets. Glen played vibraphone at the Commemorative Air Force hangar dance, May 12, 2007.

Role in Roseville Big Band: 

Director and bass vocal in the Rosetones; Glen also plays vibes on many of the band's songs and plays solos on a variety of instruments. He has also contributed several compositions and arrangements to the band's repertoire and created materials to help band members learn to improvise.

Director since: 

June, 1989; trumpet section member before that and sub on piano, etc., before joining the band as a full-time member

Occupation: 

Software engineer

Glen has been arranging music and leading musical groups ever since fourth grade, when he gathered Gordy Brown, Billy Wheeler, and several other neighborhood kids who had joined the band in previous years to play his arrangements of "Cindy" and "Shrimp Boats". Years earlier, he began piano lessons (at age 4-1/2), then tried to master the ukelele (at age 5) but kept guessing wrong about which of the three chords he knew fit the song he was singing. Glen stopped taking formal piano lessons at age 7, then resumed again at age 10 when he discovered the joy of low notes and popular music in one of his mother's music books, "Greatest Song Hits of 1933". Before he joined the school band, Glen's older brother Jim had already shown him how to play the trumpet, so Glen's performance on "Shrimp Boats" matched the skill level of the older boys.

Glen is a third-generation composer. His mother, Dorothy Newton, was a well-respected piano teacher, church organist, and choir director and gave Glen his formal and informal piano lessons. She was also a violinist, guitarist, and composer, having several published compositions to her credit by the age of 11. Her father, Charles Chester Crammond, was also a composer and music teacher and encouraged young Dorothy to "write like an adult" in her cover letters so the publishers wouldn't be aware of her youth. Glen is a member of ASCAP as both composer and publisher; in addition, some of his compositions for brass band have been published by Welsh publisher Jagrins.

Throughout his school years, Glen maintained a high level of involvement in music performance while concentrating on coursework in math and science. One early influence was his high school band director, Aldie Long, who loaned him the high school dance band piano music the summer after seventh grade. Glen's study of this music was the basis for his understanding of swing and pop music chord progressions and voicings. The summer concerts in the park that Glen produces, featuring the Roseville Big Band with dancers and vocalists, are in many ways similar to the high school Band Follies produced by Aldie Long.

While earning his M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science, Glen managed to find time for some musical activities, singing in Iowa City's Old Capitol Chorus, writing the script for one of their shows, creating arrangements sung by the chapter's top quartet, and covering some of his school expenses by playing guitar in a combo. (By then he had figured out which chords would work with which notes.)

After moving to the Twin Cities to work as a software engineer, Glen became active in a variety of musical capacities, taking advantage of his instrumental versatility to fill in the gaps when a band or orchestra was missing a part or when a student needed an accompanist, and creating very playable and listenable music for a variety of ensembles, based on his first-hand knowledge of what is technically feasible on each of the instruments and his appreciation of the melodic and harmonic virtues of the less-experimental music he performed over the years.

Besides leading the Roseville Big Band, Glen plays in the Minneapolis Trombone Choir and has subbed on trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, guitar, and keyboard in the Classic Big Band, the South Side Big Band, and Swing Beat. He plays trombone, cornet, and tenor saxophone in the Lazy Does It traditional jazz band, plays helicon bass, trombone, and cornet in the Stone Arch Jazz Band, and has played cornet in the Dixiedores, the Whistlin' Dixies, and the Pig's Eye Jass Band. He occasionally fills in on Eb alto or Bb tenor horn with the Finnish brass septet Ameriikan Poijat. He has also played euphonium and trombone in Metro Brass, an 11-piece brass ensemble with percussion and played keyboard in the David Andrews Big Band. He performs on percussion, bassoon, French horn and other instruments with the St. Anthony Civic Orchestra; on trumpet, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet, classical guitar, trombone, and English horn at various churches in the Twin Cities. He has played piano, synthesizer, and lead trumpet in pit bands for the Champlin Park High School Ovation musicals; and on a wide variety of instruments in the pit band for the Silvertones and other choruses. In 2004, he began singing with The Caroling Company and in 2016 with the Holiday Music Company. Glen performs on both classical guitar (shown) and steel-string guitar.

Indulging his early fondness for low notes, Glen has also performed on contrabass clarinet, bassoon, tuba, string bass and other instruments with the Roseville Community Band. On the band's 50th anniversary tour, he played French horn and piccolo. He has also been featured as a trumpet soloist and euphonium soloist on their concerts. He also plays tuba or euphonium in the annual TubaChristmas concerts in the Twin Cities; you may have heard him on WCCO-AM radio performing in a tuba quartet to publicize the concerts.

In a related musical activity, Glen has been the host for numerous public access television broadcasts of concerts by various Twin Cities musical organizations. He has also given demonstrations of various musical instruments, including the trombone family and woodwinds (including the crowd-pleasing "glove in the bassoon" trick), at elementary schools in the Twin Cities.

Glen played trombone to celebrate the relocation of the Wells Fargo Bank St. Paul office. Bigger picture is 22K.

Glen plays euphonium in the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band, which has given the premiere performance of some of his works for brass band; he has also performed on cornet, tenor horn (baritone horn in British brass band parlance), E-flat alto (tenor) horn, percussion, and trombone with the band. His presentation on British Brass Bands in Minnesota at the 2016 Early Brass Festival outlined the history of the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band and others within the state. In 2017 he played 1st baritone on the Mississippi River Brass Band's goodwill concert tour to eastern Europe.

He has performed on bass trombone with the Northeast Orchestra; on guitar and banjo with the White Knuckles Bluegrass Band; on mandolin and banjo with Colt .45; on tenor sax, French horn, and euphonium with the Macalester College Symphonic Band, Hamline University Symphonic Band, and the Inver Hills Symphonic Band; on flute, French horn, bass trombone, classical guitar, E-flat trumpet, and euphonium with the House Brand Woodwind Ensemble; on trombone with the Twin Cities Jazz Orchestra, University of Minnesota pep band, Metropolitan Trombone Choir, and other ensembles; on trumpet with the Brass Menagerie rock band; on string bass with the Minnesota Mandolin Orchestra; and on trumpets, flugelhorn, and tuba with Tarrant Moss and other brass quintets.

Glen played cornet in the Sheldon Theater Brass Band at the 2004 competition in Charleston. Bigger picture is 100K.
Participants in the Original Dulcimer Players Club Funfest in Evart, Michigan, know Glen as a workshop leader and performer on guitar, mandolin, and voice. He presented a set of workshops for intermediate and advanced players of chording instruments and string bass at the 2004, 2006, and 2008 workshops and performed with Dan Kirchner and others as part of the grandstand shows at those acoustic instrument festivals. Click to see Glen and Jo's pictures from the festival

If you attended the 1989 Region 3 Conference of the North American Saxophone Alliance, you might remember Glen's talk on "The Life of Adolphe Sax", which he presented at the banquet in Hubert H. Humphrey Hall at the University of Minnesota on February 17. Also in 1989, he formed the Glen Newton Saxophone Ensemble, a saxophone septet in which he played soprano sax.

He has assisted with the leadership of the Minneapolis Trombone Choir, which has premiered several of his compositions. He also directed the Canon Choir of Brass for one season that included the performance at the Minneapolis Art Institute of one of his compositions, featuring a combined brass ensemble and eight-piece woodwind ensemble, the Northern Chamber Winds.

In the Twin Cities area, other groups who have performed Glen's compositions and arrangements include the Saint Anthony Civic Orchestra, which has also performed one of his compositions in Finland; the Bloomington Medalist Band; the University of Minnesota and University of Wisconsin - River Falls Trombone Choirs; the Dolce Wind Quintet; participants at two West Bank School of Music composers' workshops; the House Brand Woodwind Ensemble; the Ulysses Brass Quintet; and the Roseville Community Band, which included his band arrangement of the trumpet solo "Dance" (composed for trumpet and piano by band member Carolyn Bayerkohler) on their concerts in Ireland.

The Michigan Technological University Jazz Choir also performed one of Glen's arrangements.

While serving on the Washington State University Computer Science faculty in the mid-70's, Glen played French horn in the community band, sang tenor in the Pullman-Moscow Chorale and bass in a church choir and sang the role of Sergeant of Police in the WSU Summer Palace production of Pirates of Penzance. Glen also soloed with this musical theater group at the Spokane World's Fair. His compositions and arrangements for classical guitar and voices were performed at the United Church of Pullman.

While completing his Ph. D. in Computer Science at the University of Iowa, Glen sang tenor in the Old Capitol Chorus, a men's barbershop chorus, and was the guitarist and backup vocalist in the Russ Raymond combo during the early 70's. His barbershop arrangements were performed by the Formalities, the 1973 Central States District champion quartet.

Glen played 5-string banjo in the Cobblestones. Visitors from the Lansing, Michigan, vicinity may remember Glen as the 12-string guitarist and banjo player with the Honeyman Trio and as a member of the Cobblestones folk trio in the late 60's. They might also remember him as the bass player in the John Turner Quintet. Those who were Michigan State University students might remember Glen's musical arrangements for FarmHouse fraternity, including the six-part vocal medley that ZTA Sorority and FarmHouse performed to win the 1968 Greek Sing competition. Glen played bass on his one-of-a-kind doubleneck guitar in John Turner's combo.

Visitors from the Cadillac, Michigan, area may remember Glen as the pianist, trumpeter, and electric bass player with the Starliters pop and country combo in the mid-60's.

Glen also played in a few ad hoc musical groups, entertaining diners and dancers at The Brown Bungalow and other venues around Big Rapids, Michigan.

While attending Big Rapids High School (BRHS) in the early 60's, Glen was an active vocalist, instrumentalist, and student musical leader. He played lead trumpet in the BRHS stage band from 7th through 12th grades and was a member of the First Annual Michigan State Honors Band. Glen also achieved considerable success in the Solo and Ensemble Festivals.

As a vocalist, Glen sang in the BRHS A Capella Choir, the Balladaires men's pop and folk quartet and the award-winning Coronados folk trio in the early 60's. Glen's compositions and arrangements were premiered by the United Church of Big Rapids chancel choir, the Big Rapids High School stage band, and the Big Rapids chapter of Sweet Adelines.

Glen has written several successful grant proposals for the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band and one for the St. Anthony Civic Orchestra.

Glen's other artistic activities include creating web sites and other graphic materials (illustrations for the show catalogs, show flyers, short video presentations, etc.) for the ACFA North Central Region and Cat Tales Cat Fanciers and co-editing the ACFA Yearbook. He has also often been the announcer for national and regional awards banquets and cat shows.

This page was last updated
Monday, July 31, 2017.


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