Uzee Brown Jr., DMA
Dr. Uzee Brown Jr. is a professor in the Music Department at Morehouse College.
In addition to writing music for two of Spike Lee’s movies, School Daze and Red Hook Summer, Professor Brown has written works for National Public Radio and the Atlanta Symphony, including an orchestral setting for chorus of We Shall Overcome for the celebration of the 70th birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. His compositions and arrangements have been performed internationally in cathedrals and concert halls on four continents. Professor Brown has appeared in numerous national and international operatic performances, is co-founder of Onyx Opera Atlanta, and is founder and director of the Uzee Brown Society of Choraliers.
Professor Brown serves as a visiting evaluator for NASM.
Professor Brown holds Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of Michigan, a Master of Music degree in Composition from Bowling Green State University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College.
A native of Cowpens, South Carolina, Dr. Brown has also served as chair of the Department of Music at Morehouse and director of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church Choir. He also served as chair of the Department of Music at Clark Atlanta University for two years. Having enjoyed a very diverse career in music, the combination of his professional activities as singer/performer, composer/arranger, educator and choir director has taken him to more than twenty countries, including Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland, Russia, Luxembourg, Spain, six countries of Africa and the Caribbean. When he was director of the Ebenezer Choir, he led the choir in concert tours of Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy.
For dedication to the profession of teaching since 1973, he was voted Vulcan Teacher of the Year at Morehouse College in 2011. He is past president of the National Association of Negro Musicians. During his presidency he spearheaded the completion of the research and ultimate publication of the official documentary history of the National Association of Negro Musicians (founded in 1919) by the Center for Black Music Research in Chicago. Additionally, he successfully completed a NANM Endowed Scholarship Fund for competitive, aspiring young African American performers. Included among his many performances in opera and oratorio are world premier roles of Parson Alltalk in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s premier of Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha and performances of the Afro-American Suite with the Atlanta Brass Quintet. Among his operatic performances are several productions of Porgy and Bess with the Atlanta Opera. In 2005 he performed Frazier, the Lawyer in a Nashville Symphony production from Gershwin’s originally edited score, that was recorded by Decca records and released in November, 2006. In 2008 he performed the role in France, Spain and Luxembourg. Dr. Brown is a respected educator and lecturer on African American Music. He studied composition with T. J. Anderson, African American folk music with Wendell P. Whalum, and African American Art Song with Willis Patterson. For thirty five years a major focus of his work has been African American music. His CD, Great Day, is a compilation of Brown’s solo spiritual arrangements. It includes some rare and seldom heard spiritual melodies and solo spirituals of which there are no known previous arrangements. A recipient of numerous awards, his composition commissions include works for the National Public Radio and the Atlanta Symphony orchestra, including an orchestral setting with chorus of We Shall Overcome for the celebration of the 70th birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., and commissions for colleges, universities, soloists and ensembles. His works have been performed internationally, and at the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Other commissions include choral and instrumental works for centennial, sesquicentennial and new music festivals.
In 2011 the Morehouse College Glee Club premiered a choral and chamber orchestra work which Brown was commissioned tocompose for the Glee Club’s 100th anniversary celebration.
Ray Charles Performing Arts Center
AWARDS AND HONORS
- 2011, Vulcan Teacher of the Year at Morehouse College
- National Association of Negro Musicians, Past President
- Uzee Brown Society of Choraliers, Founder/Director
- Onxy Opera, Atlanta, C0-Founder
- The Buffalo News, June 23, 2020: His love of sports led to a dream career. It started at War Memorial
- HuffPost, July 24, 2013: ‘The Talk’ Has a Double Meaning for Black People
Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
A Conversation with Dr. Uzee Brown, Jr. of Morehouse College
Dr. John D. Witvliet and Dr. Uzee Brown, Jr. have a conversation about music at Morehouse College and what influenced and shaped Dr. Brown’s career.
Uzee Brown and his Society of Choraliers
Uzee Brown, Professor and Chair of the Morehouse College Department of Music, talks about growing up in the Piedmont region of South Carolina. Once he came to Morehouse, Prof. Wendell P. Whalum encouraged him to pursue research on the oral traditions of South Carolina and he saw the folk music he grew up with in a new light. This has culminated in a collection of rare spirituals which he has arranged and recorded with his choir, the Uzee Brown Society of Choraliers.
Calving Institute of Christian Worship
A Conversation with Dr. Uzee Brown, Jr. About Music and the Church
Dr. Uzee Brown, Jr. talks with Dr. John Witvliet about unique gifts of music in the church and the role of music in the worship experience.