Originally from the Midwest, Doug Morton began playing piano at the age of 5 and trumpet at the age of 7. Introduced to a classical symphony trumpet career by his first teacher, Irving Sarin (Pittsburg Symphony), Doug attended the Interlochen Arts Academy, played with the World Youth Symphony, Michigan Youth Orchestra, and performed as a soloist. He received his bachelor's degree in trumpet (Phi Beta Kappa) from the New England Conservatory, studying with Armando Ghitala, Gunther Schuller, Roger Voisin, and Daniel Pinkham. There he founded and directed the Scholarship Brass Quintet and was principal in many of Schuller's ensembles and Boston area groups.
Doug moved to the SF Bay Area in the early ‘80s and waded into a wildly eclectic musical life. He continued to play with orchestras, eventually becoming principal trumpet for 30 years with the Santa Rosa Symphony. At the same time, he also played with such diverse groups as the Jazz Composer's Orchestra, CARMA, Mental Floss, The Grateful Dudes, the Clubfoot Orchestra, SF Mime Troupe, Beach Blanket Babylon, Del Sol, James Moseley, Mood Swing Orchestra, the Brass Mafia and the Bohemian Club Jinks Band, among many others. He’s been fortunate to play with such Bay Area luminaries as Marcus Shelby, Barry Finnerty, Paul Hanson, Chuck Sher, Erik Jakobsen, Mike Olmos and many more.
Along the way, Doug carved out composing and arranging opportunities, writing for nearly every group he played with. Following the maxim “to be a writer, write” - he has produced 1000+ pieces. Some of his brass pieces have been recorded by the All-Star Brass Quintet and performed around the world. He has written for the theater and co-created musicals, one of which won a Dramaturg award. He has been commissioned to write choir pieces (notably 2000’s “Grist for the Millennium”) and a piece for 340 young musicians (“Heroism”) performed at the Green Music Center in commemoration of the 2017 Sonoma wildfires. He has written many pieces for chamber orchestra, woodwind and brass quintets, string groups, soloists – and lots and lots of jazz arrangements for small combos. Some of his music has been performed by the San Francisco Symphony, including a piece performed by Laurie Anderson. He honors all requests, including some recent ones from France and South Korea and Nebraska for special arrangements and originals.
In 2008 Doug was invited to join the Trumpet Supergroup and he played, wrote and recorded for them for many years. Along with that came the wonderful Electric Squeezebox Orchestra (The Electric Squeezebox Orchestra - Doug Morton) for which he wrote dozens of pieces. He developed a bit of a reputation as an arranger and received many requests for custom music from Bay Area educators. He is now retired from active performance and is settling into the quieter life of a writer. His “DUG” songbook was recently published by Sher Music.