AUSTIN BRAKE (b. 1991) is currently Assistant Director of Bands at Berry Miller Junior High and Rogers Middle School in Pearland, Texas. Prior to his appointment at Miller, Mr. Brake worked as a graduate teaching assistant for both the Band and Music Theory departments at the University of Houston. During his time at UH, he assisted with and led ensemble rehearsals, co-taught undergraduate conducting classes, and independently taught undergraduate music theory and aural skills classes. For two summers, he has also served as an adjunct faculty member, teaching Theory 2 and Aural Skills 2.
Mr. Brake graduated from the University of Houston with a master of music degree in instrumental conducting where he studied with David Bertman, Dana Pradervand, John Benzer, and Eddie Green. Additionally, he studied composition with Rob Smith and Marcus Maroney.
Prior to starting his masters at UH, Mr. Brake taught middle school band for three years, one in Galveston ISD and two in Alvin ISD. His bands have consistently earned “Superior (I)” ratings at UIL Concert and Sight Reading Evaluation.
Mr. Brake received his undergraduate degree from West Texas A&M University where he studied composition with BJ Brooks and conducting with Mark Bartley.
As a composer, Mr. Brake has received commissions from HGOco (Houston Grand Opera), the Abiding Grace Lutheran Church in Southlake, Texas and the League City United Methodist Church in League City, Texas. While at West Texas A&M University, he was also commissioned to write several works for chamber ensembles of the School of Music including the WT Horn Choir, Brass Choir, Trombone Choir, and Trumpet Ensemble. In 2016, his work for orchestra, Beyond the Event Horizon, was premiered by the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra. His work for wind ensemble, A Modal Portrait, was selected as a winner of the 2014 Hong Kong Band Directors Association Composition Contest and was performed in Hong Kong by the Hong Kong Band Directors Wind Orchestra.
Mr. Brake also teaches private lessons in music theory/composition and works as a professional music engraver. His musical interests include the use of technology in the music classroom, acoustics, and recent trends in the field of music theory. When he’s not working, he enjoys going to the Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, and other concerts put on by various professional ensembles in Houston.
Outside of music, he enjoys working out and learning languages. He has completed the Duolingo courses for Spanish, Italian, French, and German. And he has studied Hindi and Japanese. However, he only considers himself fluent in the invented language Esperanto. He even has a certificate. (Yes, he knows this is probably the nerdiest thing that anyone has ever heard.)