The 5 Browns — five piano-playing siblings — are returning for a special Christmas concert presented by Boerne Performing Arts. Bringing world-class professional performers to the Hill Country at Champion Auditorium, the 2020 season features a rising a cappella group from Florida, tap dancing Australians and a multimedia dance troupe.
By Dan R. Goddard :: Photography courtesy of Boerne Performing Arts
Artistic director Greg Talford says the new season reflects Boerne Performing Arts’ commitment to quality. “We believe that we have had record-breaking ticket sales this year because we have developed a reputation of bringing artists from around the world that present a first-class, high-quality performance,” Greg Talford says. “Just like it is good to try different foods, it is good to experience different forms of the arts.”
With the theme of “Hot, Hot, Hot,” the 9th season sizzles with instrumentalists, vocalists and dancers.
The 5 Browns – Special Event, December 12, 2019, 7:30pm
The 5 Browns — Ryan, Melody, Gregory, Deondra and Desirae — all attended New York’s Juilliard School, the first family of five siblings ever accepted simultaneously. Dubbed the “Fab Five” by People magazine in 2002, they appeared on Oprah, Jay Leno and 60 Minutes. Three of their albums have gone to No. 1 on Billboard Magazine’s Classical Album Chart.
Delivering on their dream to wake up classical music by appealing to the widest audience possible, their eclectic range has become a trademark: a mix of classical piano compositions, Gershwin and soundtrack hits from movies like Star Wars and Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.
“Since we’ve finally had the chance to record and release a Christmas album, it means we have more Christmas music to share,” Melody says. “We’re excited to perform some of our favorite music for Boerne. Everything from iconic, grand pieces on five pianos to quieter more beautiful holiday solos. It should be a really festive night!”
This will be the second time the 5 Browns have performed in Boerne. “We adore performing in Boerne,” Desirae says. “The audience is warm, friendly and inviting. And it is such a beautiful place. We are all really excited to be returning to Boerne and elated to reunite with our long time Boerne friends.”
The 5 Browns tour extensively and have performed everywhere from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Suntory Hall in Japan. “Tours are a lot of fun,” Ryan says. “The five of us meet up a couple days before a concert tour to rehearse. During these days, we appreciate being together. It’s great fun catching up with everyone during a tour. Our rehearsal the first day, in particular, is a bit drawn out, which is OK because we have such a great time talking and laughing. Experiencing the power of music together with your family is something that never gets old.”
During their holiday tour, the 5 Browns will be performing songs from their Christmas album released in November. “We plan to have it available at our concert in Boerne,” Gregory says. “It was a really fun album to make, though I have to say it felt bizarre to be recording Christmas music in the summer. We also have another new passion project that we’ve been working on. We’ve recorded an album inspired by childhood, and many of the tracks are pieces we played as children or grew up listening to. We don’t have a release date for this album yet, but be sure to keep an eye out for it.”
While the 5 Browns are enjoying their success, they did pay a high price. They were a close-knit Mormon family until the three sisters indicted their father, who was also their manager, of sexual abuse in 2007, which is the subject of a new documentary, “The 5 Browns: Digging Through the Darkness.” The father was sent to prison for 10 years, while the sisters created the Foundation for Survivors of Abuse in 2011.
“Audiences who have watched our lives through the documentary have been kind and generous, and mostly very respectful,” Deondra says. “It is crazy to think people have viewed it around the world and it is resonating with them. I think it is a testament to the fact we all understand what it feels like to experience pain and sadness, but the power of music can unite us all in joy and triumph.”
Voctave – January 30, 2019, 7:30pm
Known for lush performances of Disney and Broadway hits, this 11-member a cappella group from Florida with ties to Walt Disney Entertainment spans gospel, pop and musical theater, attracting more than 100 million views on YouTube and Facebook.
The Tap Pack – March 17, 2019, 7:30pm
Inspired by the famous “Rat Pack” of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., five of Australia’s finest tap dancing performers combine mind-blowing tap dancing, smooth vocals, a swinging live jazz band and witty on-stage banter reminiscent of the ‘60s-era Las Vegas bad boys.
MOMIX – April 7, 2019, 7:30pm
Artistic director Moses Pendleton combines athletic dance, riveting music, outrageous costumes and inventive props to transport audiences into a fantasy world with magical lighting and imagery. MOMIX has thrilled fans in more than 22 countries and appeared on stage, screen and television.
Boerne Performing Arts board member Sue Talford says this year’s For Kids outreach program will feature a live performance for students by each of the performing groups. “More than 4,000 local students will attend a one-hour matinee presentation by each of the artists that will introduce them to professional performing arts,” Sue Talford says. “Since our organization’s inception, we have impacted over 24,000 students with a program that has been offered to the students at no charge. This year, every child in grades 2-3-4-5 and all special needs students will be experiencing a live performance by each of these artists.”
Additionally, Boerne ISD students will be highlighted at each evening performance, providing the students an opportunity to perform with their high school ensemble, or to display visual art from students K-12. Thanks to generous sponsors, the students receive a complimentary ticket to the show.
“We are fortunate to have a partnership with Boerne ISD and the use of Champion Auditorium,” Sue Talford says. “The board has worked diligently to maintain affordable ticket prices since the start of our organization in 2012, and with the exception of one ticket level increase in 2014, ticket prices have remained the same since our inception.”
2020 Season Tickets for three concerts range from $50 for students to $75 to $100 for subscribers to $170 for patrons featuring premium seating and a donation. Tickets for the 5 Browns Christmas concert are available separately. You can order tickets by visiting www.BoernePerformingArts.com, or call 830.331.9079.