Church hosting Brown Music Competition

The Brown Music Competition, a local arts staple since the mid-1980s, gets underway at 8 a.m. Saturday at First Christian Church, 516 Fifth St. in Columbus. It is free and open to the public.

Fifty-six students will vie for scholarship money in both vocal and instrumental competition before a panel of judges, who will critique participants’ technique, interpretation and general musicianship.

The first-place performer in the two senior competitions will receive the Betty F. Brown Awards For Instrumental Excellence and the Anna Newell Brown Awards For Vocal Excellence, each a $3,500 award.

Winners may be given an invitation to perform with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic. High school sophomores and juniors who live in Bartholomew County can compete for scholarships for music lessons or camps.

The annual Brown Music Scholarship Competition was the brainchild of the late Robert N. and Betty F. Brown, in honor of Robert’s mother, Anna Newell Brown, a talented vocalist. Betty F. Brown was a talented player of piano, organ and recorder. Robert was the longtime chairman of Home News Enterprises, former parent company of The Republic.

The Heritage Fund — the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County administers the program

Information: 812-376-7772

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.