UM-Flint Music Student’s Band Signed by Shorebird

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UM-Flint music student Taylor VonBrockdorff is a prolific performer who, in addition to his school studies, has recorded on several albums in the past year and played in different music groups around the state.

He has also one of four members in the band Building Birds, an alternative rock group started in the spring of 2014 and described as being “reminiscent of early U2, Radiohead, and Coldplay interwoven with My Bloody Valentine and Jeff Buckley, [offering] a sound that extends beyond a single genre.” ( The band was recently signed by Shorebird, a record label based in Rhode Island.

According to VonBrockdorff, “The plan is to have our album ‘Swirling Among the Stars’ released by late this fall or early winter. The album was written by [band members] Ashley Peacock and Johnny Mason. Todd Gilbert was added to the drums just before I joined. They came to me after seeing me play at a venue in Flint and asked me to be in their band. My job was to write guitar parts that fit their music style. They liked me so much they decided to keep me (haha).”

When asked about the part his experiences and education in the Music Department at UM-Flint have played in his musical success, he said, “By studying at the university I learned so much about music then I ever could have asked for. I learned about melody and harmony and how different parts of music come together to create an entire work of art. These things alone have greatly benefited me in the music business.”

VonBrockdorff is also looking to the future, both professionally and musically: “Since I became a music major many doors have opened up for me. I began teaching music (guitar specifically) to students of all ages. After teaching for a while I now know how difficult it can be as a teacher and have much more respect for them. I feel like that experience has also made me a better student. . . I hope to have a career in music whether it involves teaching, performing, or as a studio musician.”

Building Birds’ next confirmed show is at The Pike Room (Crofoot) in Pontiac, Mich., on November 14th. For other shows and band information, visit their page on the Shorebird website, at, or on Facebook and Twitter (@buildingbirds).

To learn more about the Department of Music at UM-Flint, visit

Pictured above, left to right: Johnny Mason, Ashley Peacock, Taylor VonBrockdorff, Todd Gilbert