Doug Higgins, Composer   

Doug Higgins in his studio


Doug Higgins began his music training at age nine in 1957 at Troy Montana. There was a professional accordion player in town who got her training in a larger city. Accordion was a popular instrument at that time and his teacher included music theory with her teaching method. Doug did weekly lessons from a workbook. The essential music elements played a big role in his future music studies. In 1958 his family moved to Spokane Washington and he signed up for 5th grade band. He wanted to play the trumpet because his grandfather was a cornet player in Great Falls Montana. His grandfather joined a traveling vaudeville group when he was 10 until 17. Doug was a gifted trumpet player with a good sound and range. He studied privately in Spokane from the 7th to 12th grade.

At West Valley High School, Doug enrolled in an after-school theory class and when he entered college at Eastern Washington College (eventually it became Eastern Washington University), he received an advanced placement in music theory, and began his studies in music composition with Dr. Wendal Jones and he joined a new band called “Satin Brass” which performed in a new night club in Spokane called “Ha’ Penny Square” where the band played six nights a week. Near the end of his studies at Eastern, he and his new wife became born again Christians. He discontinued his studies at Eastern and enrolled at Northwest Bible College in Kirkland Washington.

Doug then enrolled at Washington State University and changed his major from music composition to education and was certified in k-12 music education, choral and instrumental. He and his wife taught in Montana and later in Washington, retiring in 2013. During his career, he composed and arranged for bands, orchestra and composed and performed a musical called “The Secret Garden”(for choir and chamber orchestra), He also composed and produced a work called “Montana Dreams” (2008) and created a record label and publishing company called “Montana Brass.” Another work followed in 2010 called “Streams of Yellowstone” which is also recorded on the same label.

After his retirement Doug and his wife moved to Missoula Montana where they both enrolled at the University of Montana, where Doug is in masters studies in music composition and his wife Janet is in media arts. He composed a piece for flugel horn, piano, bass and native American flute called “Flows Down,” also a vocal work for five parts called “Three Greek Hymns.” Other compositions include a string quartet of six movements called “Yellowstone,” a five-movement work for woodwind quintet called “Caldera” and an oratorio for choir, solo voices and chamber ensemble called “The Song of Songs.”