“When people think gospel music, a lot of people think South. You know, or the East Coast,” says Andiel Brown, the director of gospel ensembles at the University of Oregon. “But gospel music is universal.”
When he first arrived at the university as a freshman, Brown wasn’t thinking of a career in music. He was a psychology major who walked onto the football team.
In just a few of years, Brown became the captain of the team while earning his degree as a music major. In 2008, just weeks before he graduated, he was offered the job as director of gospel ensembles.
Since then Brown’s mission has been to create a gospel powerhouse at the University of Oregon.
And he has done just that. Not only have the choirs competed at national and regional gospel choir competitions, the UO Top Gospel Singers made history in March 2013 by becoming the first gospel act ever to make a public performance tour of the People’s Republic of China.
Brown’s approach is unique. He doesn’t use sheet music. Nobody auditions for his introduction class.
““Being able to expose the students to this music for the first time, and watching how it changes their lives, how it promotes … a family atmosphere in class, and just seeing where they go when they graduate. It’s…it’s very rewarding.””
director of Gospel Ensembles
university of Oregon