Doug Brandt is a composer and librettist in New York City. He lives on Roosevelt Island, in the middle of the East River between Manhattan and Queens, with his wife, Kathy Keegan; Brennan, their 11-year-old cat; and Ed, their 18-year-old frog. Doug believes that the voice is the greatest instrument in all of music and that a text should be understandable and music should be accessible.
“Remembering That It Happened Once” was a 2014 Pulitzer Prize nominee and semifinalist for the American Prize. Several of Doug’s choral works appear in the Craig Hella Johnson Choral Series in the G. Schirmer catalog, including “The White Owl” and his choral suite, The Gentlest Lady, settings of Dorothy Parker’s three Marion poems, “The Maid-Servant at the Inn,” “The Gentlest Lady,” and “Prayer for a New Mother.” The title work was a winner of the 2013 Choral Composition Competition of the Manhattan Choral Ensemble. Two pieces from Ariel’s Suite, songs from Shakespeare’s Tempest, have been named finalists for the 2015 American Prize. Two liturgical works in Hebrew, “Sh’ma” and “Mi Chamocha,” were premiered by the Westchester Oratorio Society, Ben Niemczyk conductor.
He has written the music, book, and lyrics for two full-length musicals, Savage, which tells the story of Jeffery Amherst and his notorious smallpox blankets in 1763, and Our Little Secret, a sweet comedy about three bulimic women and the family secrets that underlie their eating disorders. Other stage scores include Two Girls from Vermont (Special Award NY International Fringe Festival), The Glass Menagerie (New York Theatre Workshop), and Coming Soon (Key Theater). He is currently working on two operas and a short oratorio for men’s chorus and soloists.
Doug has a long history as a choral singer, starting with his church’s children’s choir when he was nine. After he grew older, if not up, he sang with the Chicago Symphony Chorus under Margaret Hillis and the St. Louis Symphony Chorus under Tom Peck. He has sung with numerous churches and synagogues over the years and currently sings with the Canticum Novum Singers in New York City under Harold Rosenfeld.
Doug holds a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance and a master’s degree in music education from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, as well as a master of fine arts in theater from Trinity Rep Conservatory in Providence, Rhode Island, where he won the 1999 Graduate Award for Excellence.