Justin M. Brauer

Music Director | Theatre Educator | Keyboardist

2017 In Review

It's been almost a year since I last posted an update- whoops! Here's what's happened in that time:

Whiskey Shadows

I joined a band! We formed as part of Champaign-Urbana's Great Cover Up (covering Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats,) and then just kept playing! Some highlights of the year include opening for J.D. McPherson for our first gig way back in March, and playing in the street in downtown Champaign in August. We're working on writing material for an album right now, and will be playing Cover Up again on February 9th. You can check out more video on the Whiskey Shadows section of this site, or on our YouTube channel.

Failure: A Love Story

I've been teaching for the UIUC Department of Theatre for the past couple of years, and got to work on their production of Philip Dawkins's Failure: A Love Story as Music Supervisor. I did all the copywork, as well as some vocal arranging, which I was glad to return to after a few years away! You can read my blog post about that experience here.

Anything Goes

While I was working on A Charlie Brown Christmas at Parkland College in November/December of 2016, I was asked to step in as Music Director of Parkland's Anything Goes. I've been in the show, played in the pit, and now music directed it- I think I'm all AGed out!


  • Sweeney Todd at Urbana High School: I always love playing at Urbana High School, and was super excited to get to play alongside their talented students in this year's pit. It also gave me the opportunity to build a set of organ pedals.

  • Krannert Uncorked: An Evening of Broadway: Ranae asked me if I would play for this evening she was curating, and I was happy to say yes! I got to accompany some of my favorite singers, and met a couple new ones, as well.

  • Illinois Summer Youth Music: I taught again this year for ISYM, first for Junior Chorus with Bridget Sweet, and then for Musical Theatre with Dawn Harris, Sarah Wigley, and Michael Tilley. Now that I'm working full-time, I suspect that was my last year being able to take two weeks off to teach during the summer, and it was a great way to go out!

  • Delaney Sterling's Senior Recital: I met Delaney when she was a freshman and I was music directing The Wedding Singer for Illini Student Musicals. I was so honored to be a part of her senior recital in November. She's a wonderful friend and a fantastic singer, and I'll certainly miss having her around while she's student teaching this semester!


assassins poster.jpg

I'm working with J.W. again this year on Illinois Theatre's Assassins, which I was in five years ago as a student at the Department of Theatre-sponsored Armory Free Theatre. We have a fantastic team, and the cast has been doing amazing work. Our students came back from their winter break a week early to rehearse during the day this week, so I'm taking a bunch of time off of work to work with them. We had a full rnu yesterday, and I'm really happy with how much work they put in while they were gone to retain what we did before break and build upon it. That opens in February, after which I'll have a much-needed break.

Copyright Justin M. Brauer, 2014-2019.