Bert Braud, founding faculty member

Bert Braud

Last week, we learned about the passing of one of NOCCA’s founding faculty members, Dr. Bert Braud. He taught in the Music Department from 1973 until 1991, and he helped lay the groundwork for what NOCCA has become today. He dedicated his life to the study of music and music education, and he will be profoundly missed.

Funeral services for Dr. Braud will be held on Monday, October 26. For additional information, please click here.

Many NOCCA alumni have fond memories of Dr. Braud and consider him a formative influence on their education and artistic work. Here are just a few examples:

“I am proud to be a NOCCA graduate, and I consider my studies there with Dr. Bert Braud to have been the greatest influence on my life!”

Conductor Paul Mauffray 

Dr. Braud was one of the toughest and best teachers I had. His work ethic and demand for excellence over-prepared me for a career in the music business. He was a kind man who showed me that a command of music theory was imperative to an aspiring musician.”   

Harry Connick Jr.,  musician and actor

Bert Braud was my theory teacher at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). I learned a lot about theory; and he piqued my intellectual interest in music and the history of western music because he was very, very intelligent. He’s the first one that told me I should think about trying to become a composer.”  

Wynton Marsalis, musician, composer, and bandleader

“In an earlier post, I mentioned my high school theory teacher in high school, Dr. Bert Braud. He taught us how to analyze Bach’s chorales. What I didn’t say in the story was that he just leafed through the pages of the harmonizations I had done of over 350 chorales and said, “That’s a good start,” and handed it quickly back to me. It checked my pride and let me know that he expected us to work, and that the experiencing and knowledge of great music is endless. I am happy to remember and recognize him and that today.” 

Wynton Marsalis, musician, composer, and bandleader

“Afternoons from 1 to 5, he attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, where…he learned theory from ‘my great teacher’ Bert Braud, whose theme-and-variation class subsumed Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Bach.”

from an article on Wynton Marsalis 

“Of course, I’m very honored and quite surprised that OffBeat Magazine selected me for a Lifetime Achievement Award in music education. My initial response was ‘why did they award this to me?’ I can think of some other very deserving people including two of my former teachers: Hank Mackie and Dr. Bert Braud.”  

Prof. Steve Masakowski, guitarist and Chair of Jazz Studies  at the University of New Orleans

“When I think about my upbringing, I think about Alvin Batiste, Roger Dickerson, Ellis Marsalis, Dr. Bert Braud, George Jensen, Kidd Jordan. Those are all of the great educators who have given their lives to educate us.” 

Terence Blanchard, trumpeter, composer, and music educator 

“Instrumental in his classical training was Dr. Bert Braud

from an article on trumpeter Nicholas Payton

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