Music Alum Performs on Land and at Sea

Ian Michael Brown ’17 traveled to Jamaica, Mexico, and Belize just months after graduating from LVC. He toured Mayan ruins and swam with dolphins. 

The music manager on Carnival Cruise Lines’ Pride, Brown is responsible for coordinating with the entertainment director and fellow musicians to create an enjoyable and memorable music experience for passengers. Those duties encompass creating the music schedule, arranging sound checks, ensuring venues and equipment are clean and functioning, and evaluating musical acts. Brown, who first started as a keyboardist on another Carnival ship, also performs on the keyboards with a rock band six nights a week.

“I love performing every night and making music with some great musicians,” said Brown, who received a bachelor’s degree in music from LVC. “On my last ship, I played a jazz set every night and wrote and performed original material with the bassist and drummer. I encourage a laid-back atmosphere for the musicians who perform on the ships. I don’t want it to feel like someone is breathing down their backs. I want them to take control of their final product and performance.”

Even when he returns to land between his contracts, Brown is fully committed to music. He is most proud of a collaboration with a bassist and drummer from Carnival to record and release the album, “The Beauty of Not Knowing.”  

“The experience of planning, composing, rehearsing, recording, producing, and releasing an album with great musicians was a beautiful journey,” he said.

When Brown is not on a ship, he works as a music director for musicals and performs freelance gigs in bands, jazz trios, and for churches. He aspires to one day travel and tour with a band on land, write more compositions, and record other albums.

While he has numerous inspirations for his musical career, he credits a trio of LVC instructors.

“I caught and kept the spark for my field because of the journey to study, learn, and create music,” he said. “This spark was fueled during every private lesson I took with Dr. Eric Fung, professor Tim Wolfe Jr., and professor Josh Tindall. These men inspired my desire to learn more outside of the lessons and to become a better musician. I think it’s the greatest gift possible to give to a student—the hunger and desire to learn more and continue to explore and understand a field of study.”

Brown shaped his college experience to be what he wanted, using the resources and professors available to him. He sees each new lesson learned as a stop along the journey toward his ultimate goal and desired destination. 

“Because of LVC and the people and teachers I learned from, I could work for Carnival, meet other musicians, work with those musicians to record an album, and bring to completion a project that two years ago I didn’t think would happen.”