Friday, February 23, 2007

Melvin L. Brown

Melvin served Riverchase United Methodist Church for eight years as Minister of Music. Prior to that, he served as Director of Music Ministries at Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church in Augusta, Georgia, and was Music Director of The Augusta Choral Society.
Born in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Mr. Brown's family moved to southern California when he was a child. As a young man, he began serious vocal study as the only pupil of the great Metropolitan Opera soprano, Amelita Galli-Curci. He later served his country in the United States Army as a chaplain's assistant. He continued his musical studies at the University of California, the Music Academy of the West at Santa Barbara, the Mannes College of Music, and the Manhattan School of Music in New York City where he met his wife Sandra Walker.
Mr. Brown began his professional career as a soloist with the Roger Wagner Chorale, making extensive concert tours of the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East. Appearances as guest soloist followed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of famed conductor Zubin Mehta, the San Diego Symphony, and other major U.S. orchestras. He was a member of the Columbia Operatic Trio, the Metropolitan Opera Studio, and appeared at the New York City Opera and with the opera companies of Dallas, Houston, and San Diego.
Melvin Brown was highly sought after as an oratorio soloist, and performed regularly in concerts in New York City at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. His operatic career took him to Germany where he appeared in leading roles in opera houses throughout the country. While in Germany, he was Music Director at the Frankfurt Central Chapel and conducted the Frankfurt German-American Community Choir. Locally, Mr. Brown has performed in Birmingham with Alabama Operaworks and Opera Birmingham. He has recorded for Angel, Columbia, and Vox Records.
Melvin Brown is survived by: his wife of 32 years, Sandra Walker Brown; their son, Noel Christian Brown of Augusta, Georgia; his sisters Wanda Herold of Escondido, California and Mary Mager of Reno, Nevada; numerous nieces and nephews; and a host of friends, admirers, music-lovers, and students from all over the world who will grieve his passing and cherish his memory for all that he has meant to them, both personally and professionally.

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