Dr. Brooks named director of orchestral activities in music and medicine

April 23, 2020

Image with caption: Matthew Brooks, D.M.A., conducting the Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra.

Matthew Brooks, D.M.A., conducting the Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra.

UNMC and the University of Nebraska at Omaha School of Music have appointed Matthew Brooks, D.M.A., as assistant professor and director of orchestral activities in music and medicine.

The new position will allow Dr. Brooks not only to continue leading the Nebraska Medical Orchestra as music director and conductor, but it will also allow him to develop new collaborative initiatives among faculty, staff, and students at UNMC and UNO.

Additionally, Dr. Brooks will continue to mentor students in the UNO School of Music by teaching academic music courses and remaining involved in the UNO Orchestra program in collaboration with the director of orchestral studies.

Dr. Brooks joined UNO in 2018 as instructor and director of orchestras, during which time he led the UNO Orchestra program and helped create the Nebraska Medical Orchestra, a partnership between UNMC and UNO. He joined the UNO Medical Humanities faculty and also was appointed as courtesy faculty in the UNMC Department of Neurological Sciences, which has allowed him more opportunity to partner across campuses on teaching, research, and campus wellness initiatives.

As an academic conductor, Dr. Brooks remains active as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator working with ensembles of all ages and experience levels. He regularly presents, both nationally and internationally, on topics including conducting pedagogy, medical humanities, and arts and wellness. His leadership of the Nebraska Medical Orchestra has led to more music and engagement on the UNMC campus, including a number of special events sponsored by the Healing Arts Program, Alumni Relations Office and the University of Nebraska Foundation.

Washington Garcia, D.M.A., director of the UNO School of Music, praised Dr. Brooks' teaching, conducting, and community engagement talents.

"We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Matthew Brooks in his new rank as assistant professor and director of orchestral activities in music and medicine. Matthew not only has a rare combination of clarity and efficient conducting methods, but his ability to connect with people beyond the concert platform is exceptional. Dr. Brooks' leadership will take the partnership between UNMC and UNO to a new level."

Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., described Dr. Brooks' leadership as an investment in the community.

"I am highly confident that the partnerships Dr. Brooks has established between the medical community and the UNO School of Music will continue to improve the well-being of faculty, staff and students, reduce burnout and enhance the experiences of so many of our patients," Dr. Gold said. "Dr. Brooks' gifts have brought music to so many and has had a positive impact on all of us."

Dr. Brooks will begin in this new position in August 2020.

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Barbara Somers
April 24, 2020 at 3:56 PM

Congratulations. I am very proud of you!

Pat Lynn
April 24, 2020 at 11:51 AM

Wow, Matt. That is quite an honor. I’m so proud to have known you.

Amy Jenson
April 23, 2020 at 12:26 PM

Congrats Dr. Brooks! Looking forward to working with you more!

Lena Bolivar Johnson
April 23, 2020 at 10:20 AM

Congratulations to Dr. Brook. :)

Amy Lamer
April 23, 2020 at 8:35 AM

Congratulations, Dr. Brooks! So happy to see great things happening for such a great person.

Steve Wengel
April 23, 2020 at 8:04 AM

Congratulations, Maestro Brooks! You have done an amazing job on the Nebraska Medical Orchestra as well as other projects which have positively impacted the wellness of UNMC and Nebraska Medicine staff, students and faculty. I look forward to this next evolution of your role here!