Faculty & Staff Profiles

Brandon Scott Rumsey

Lecturer of Music Theory
Brandon Scott Rumsey headshot wearing green shirt in front of Moore Pond

Brandon Scott Rumsey (he/they) is a queer composer, bassoonist, teacher, gender and sexuality scholar, and mental health advocate based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Brandon is the Director of Operations/Research for the Trade Winds Ensemble, a Senior Editorial Assistant at the Gershwin Critical Edition housed at SMTD, and joined the music theory faculty in 2020 as a Lecturer of Music Theory.

Brandon’s music is colorful, elegant, and often has a healing or meditative quality. His work has been commissioned and performed by both well-established and emerging ensembles and performers. Beyond the concert hall, Brandon has composed and arranged for musical theatre and has written incidental music for numerous contemporary plays.

Brandon’s research and teaching engages queer and feminist theory and social activism in order to advance research on and performance of marginalized musicians and their work. In 2015, Brandon co-founded the Emblems Quintet, a woodwind quintet/artist collective committed to education, inclusive- and equity-conscious programming, and performing exciting overlooked repertoire. In 2016, Brandon joined the Trade Winds Ensemble, a team of teaching artists who use composition and improvisation as a tool for teaching children and youth around the world social-emotional skills such as communication, leadership, confidence, and self-expression.

Brandon holds an A.Mus.D. in Music Composition and a Graduate Certificate in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Studies from the University of Michigan. When he’s not teaching, you can find Brandon downtown knitting or composing in one of Ann Arbor’s cozy coffee shops or walking his puppy, Barty.

I believe:
> Music is an art of emotion that allows humans to exercise compassion and empathy.
> As composers, we are forever-learners and that we can hone our skills as our eventual own teachers.
> Students are empowered when they walk into the room and their experiences have authority.
> It is important to embrace our humanity through discovering and telling our story.
> Anyone can write music and deserves access to this creative artform that has historically left a lot of people out (and in many spaces continues to do so).

A.Mus.D., University of Michigan
M.M., The University of Texas at Austin
B.M., University of Oregon

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