Couple comes ‘home’ to BR for concert to aid food bank

Neither is from Baton Rouge, but it’s the city where they met.

Where they both earned their doctorate degrees in voice from LSU, where they fell in love and were married.

So it’s home. And what could be better than singing at home?

Which is what Terrance and Tiffany Bostic Brown will be doing next week when they travel from Florence, Ala., to Baton Rouge.

Florence is where they both work at the University of North Alabama. Brown is an assistant professor of voice and heads both the voice program and the school’s opera. Bostic Brown is a lecturer, as well as the opera program’s stage manager.

Together, they have staged five opera and musical theater productions.

But they’ll be putting their talent to use for something different on Sunday, March 10, as both perform in the 10th Music Shelters the Soul concert at First United Methodist Church.

The concert begins at 4 p.m. It’s free, but an offering will be taken with all proceeds benefiting the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.

“The church is underwriting the concert, so everything we collect will benefit the food bank,” Lamar Drummonds said.

He’s the church’s director of music and worship. He also will conduct this concert, which will feature a full orchestra made up of local musicians.

And the Browns will be the featured soloists.

“They were members of this church when they lived in Baton Rouge,” Drummonds said. “In fact, they’re still members of the church, and we’re excited to have them back.”

Area opera fans will remember performances by Brown and Bostic Brown in LSU Opera productions, particularly La Traviata, where Bostic Brown played Violetta, and Brown played her father.

They’ve also performed in Opera Louisiane programs and have been the featured soloists in local concerts and events.

This time they’ll perform in a program of all-American music.

Brown is a bass, which is a perfect fit for composer Lee Hoiby’s “I Have a Dream.”

“Lee Hoiby died in March,” Brown said.

“He set a portion of Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech to music. I did my doctorate paper and lecture on it, and I’ve performed it with piano. This will be my first time to perform it with a full orchestra.”

The song is long, almost 11 minutes. Bostic Brown’s selection choice also is lengthy.

She’ll be singing composer Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville Summer of 1915.” The song lasts almost 16 minutes, but audience members will be able to relate to both music and lyrics.

“It’s about Knoxville, Tenn., but it speaks to the South,” she said.

“Lamar chose it. I’ve performed it twice as a chamber piece with Lamar, and we will reunite in this concert with a full orchestra.”

“And what’s great about these two pieces is that we’re performing music by composers who were connected,” Brown added. “Hoiby was influenced by Barber, so it’s great for us to be working together on music by these composers.”

Also on the program will be the First United Methodist Chancel Choir performing Z. Randall Stroope’s “American Rhapsody,” and the Chancel Choir will join the Children’s Choirs in performing William Grime’s “Canticle for Peace.”

“We have a great concert planned,” Drummonds said. “And it always benefits a local nonprofit. Each year, we choose a different nonprofit, and over the last 10 years, we’ve collected almost $120,000 for these nonprofits. It’s a way we can give back to the community.”

And while giving back, it’s a chance for the Browns to return to Baton Rouge.

Where they feel at home.