Faculty & Staff Profiles

Brandon Scott Rumsey

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

Dr. Brandon Scott Rumsey (they/them) is a queer, gender non-conforming composer, 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 has often been described as “healing” and “meditative”. Their work has been commissioned and performed by both well-established and emerging ensembles and performers around the world. Beyond the concert hall, Brandon has composed and arranged for musical theatre, and they really enjoy writing incidental music for dramatic theatre.

Brandon’s research and teaching engage 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, and oft-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 they’re not teaching, you can find Brandon teaching knit and crochet classes at Spun, Ann Arbor’s local yarn shop, composing at Roosroast, or walking his rambunctious puppy, Barty.

I believe:
> Music is an art of emotion that can allow us to exercise compassion and empathy.
> Composers are forever learners, and we can become 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 unique stories.
> Anyone can write music.

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

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