Brown Music Competition Saturday at First Christian

A total of 36 area high school students will compete for a range of instrumental and vocal music scholarships in the annual Brown Music Competition scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Saturday at First Christian Church, 536 Fifth St. in downtown Columbus.

It is open to the public and attracts about 200 audience members each year.

The Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County administers the program, now in its 34th year.

The annual event was the brainchild of the late Robert N. and Betty F. Brown, in honor of Robert’s mother, Anna Newell Brown, a talented vocalist. The vocal awards began in 1985. Betty F. Brown was a talented player of piano, organ and recorder, and the instrumental awards, named in her honor, began in 1992.

Robert N. Brown was the longtime chairman of Home News Enterprises, former parent company of The Republic.

A number of area music teachers and also college music school judges have mentioned over the years that the Brown Music Competition may be among the finest in the nation for high school students for its polish, structure, caliber of judges and generous scholarship awards.