Britton taught band and English in the public schools of Griffith, Indiana, and also at Eastern Illinois University. He served in the US Army during the Second World War as a military policeman and a band member. Britton had learned German from his German-born grandmother.
Britton served as professor of music at the University of Michigan from 1949, and as dean of the School of Music from 1971 to 1979. He was also a trustee of the National Music Camp at Interlochen.
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