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Chorus Member Profile



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Barb Brown


10-Year Chorus Member: Barb Brown

 

As an avid camper, Barb Brown is not terribly bothered by bugs, which has come in handy at least once during her 10 years of singing with the May Festival Chorus. During a performance at the Greenacres outdoor venue, she stood next to that year’s Choral Conducting Fellow Marie, who unlike Barb, had a serious aversion to creepy crawlers. During the concert, a large-ish bug landed squarely on Marie’s music, causing her to freeze and hyperventilate and Barb to laugh hysterically as they attempted to carry on singing. After Marie abandoned her buggy music, Barb saved the day by leaning closer so the two could share a score.

Barb and her husband of 33 years, Doug, live on the west side of Cincinnati in the Bridgetown area, where Barb has lived her entire life. In fact, she still sees her friends from elementary and high school regularly, calling their social circle and spouses “Club 1.0.” Since they’ve grown, Club 1.0 has spawned Club 2.0 (their children) AND Club 3.0 (their grandchildren). All three of Barb and Doug’s boys – Kyle, David, and Jason – attended Oak Hills schools. At one point, the Club boasted a child in each grade from 1st – 6th! When the boys were younger, Barb was very active in the schools, helping at classroom parties and volunteering as much as she could.

As the children grew, Barb put her accounting degree from Mount St. Joseph University to work keeping the books for her husband’s business, For-Most Specialties, LLC, which hosts 3 main websites: www.blankkoozies.comwww.kooziewarehouse.com, and www.pocketscrewdrivers.com. (If you’re looking for branded products for your company or printed koozies for a wedding favor, consider supporting this local business!) Because the company is web-based and family owned and run, Barb was able to weather the pandemic relatively easily.

Barb began playing guitar and singing when she was eight-years-old and has always been involved with music, but never with professional aspirations in mind. It wasn’t until college that she tried her hand playing piano. Choral singing didn’t become a large part of the picture until 2002 at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary when Barb began singing sacred music in Tony DiCello’s choir at the Athenaeum. To improve her singing skills, Barb worked with many vocal instructors. One teacher, Michael Match, mentioned the May Festival Chorus as a potential next step for her.

Barb took the plunge and auditioned for the May Festival in January of 2012. After hearing her and noticing her vocal range, Director of Choruses Robert Porco asked, “Why haven’t you been singing here? Where have you been? Can you stay?” And the rest is history.

When she’s not singing with the May Festival, Barb is typically travelling with her husband Doug. The couple often camp in their 5th wheel at Barren River Lake near Mammoth Cave where they keep a pontoon boat. Otherwise, they might be setting sail on their next cruise, whether it’s out into the Gulf of Mexico with friends or (hopefully) on their way from Athens to Rome.

Join us in congratulating Barb on her 10th anniversary of singing with the May Festival! Get to know her better by listening to her favorite tunes on Spotify, and learn how you can become a singer in the May Festival on our Auditions page.