Phillip Browne, a beloved music professor who taught at Cal Poly Pomona for more than three decades, has died.
Browne, a former music department chair, started teaching at the university in 1963 and retired in 1994. He continued to teach part time after retirement through winter 1999.
He served as director of bands, and hosted marching band competitions on campus during his tenure, according to records in the Department of Music. Browne arranged the Cal Poly Pomona alma mater, which was composed by Keith Weeks, another former music professor and chair. Several of Browne’s scores are housed in the department’s music library.
David Grasmick, emeritus professor of music, says that Browne hired him in 1976.
“Because we worked together directing the marching band and our offices were right next to each other in the old building, we became good friends,” Grasmick says. “Phil was a nationally recognized composer who primarily wrote music for concert band. He focused on music that could be played by junior and senior high school bands. He was a fan of Stan Kenton, the jazz band leader, and we both spent time talking about his life and music.”
Browne supported music education curriculum, and believed in the importance of training the next generation of teachers and directors. Also a composer, he was the donor of the annual Phillip Browne music scholarship for many years. That scholarship supported instrumental students and those interested in composition.
Browne also was active in the community. He was a longtime member of the Pomona Host Lions Club, serving as its president from 1984-85, according to Denny Mosier, a lecturer in the College of Business Administration and immediate past president of the club. Browne also served as the Lions District 4-L4 governor, a district that includes 35 clubs in Orange County and the Foothill region. He was the statewide Lions Club Council of Governors chair from 1996-97.
“We’ll miss him,” says Mosier.
A graveside service is scheduled for noon on Monday, Dec. 19 at Riverside National Cemetery.