Uzee Brown, Jr.

Uzee Brown, Jr. is a composer, arranger, singer, educator, and choral director hailing from Cowpens, South Carolina. He is currently the chair of the Division of Creative and Performing Arts at Morehouse College and the conductor of the Uzee Brown Choralsters.

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    Hailing from Cowpens, South Carolina, Uzee Brown Jr. is a multifaceted musician who has been a major figure in African American classical music for the past thirty-five years. He is a former president of the National Association of Negro Musicians, co-founder of Onyx Opera Atlanta (a non-profit operatic ensemble which seeks to perform works by African-American composers alongside western European operatic repertoire), and is the chair of the Division of Creative and Performing Arts at one of the foremost traditionally Black colleges in the United States, Morehouse College.

    As a performer, Brown was a part of the world premiere of Scott Joplin’s opera Treemonisha, where he played Parson Alltalk. His focus on African American music is also deeply ingrained in his compositions and arrangements, which includes commissions of protest songs, arrangements of previously unarranged spiritual melodies, and more. He studied composition with T.J. Anderson, African American folk music with Wendell P. Whalum, and African American Art Song with Willis Patterson.

    Jack Morin

    This profile was created during the 2023-2024 academic year as part of the Song of America Fellowship Program, a project of the Classic Song Research Initiative between the Hampsong Foundation and the University of Michigan, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.


    .“.” Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.Com. 19 Sep. 2023 .” Encyclopedia.Com,, 26 Sept. 2023,

    “Uzee Brown.” Uzee Brown Society of Choraliers, Accessed 26 Sept. 2023.

    “Artist – Uzee Brown Jr..” GIA Publications – Sacred Choral Music, Hymnals, Recordings and Educations Materials, Roman Catholic, Christian, Accessed 26 Sept. 2023.

    Related Information




    Soul and Reconciliation

    (Maria Thompson Corley, Jonathan Bailey Holland, James Lee III, Zenobia Powell Perry, Rosephanye Powell, Dave Ragland and Richard Thompson)


    View recording

    Songs of America: Oral Moses

    (Uzee Brown, Jr., Henry T. Burleigh, Aaron Copland, Florence Price and Howard Swanson)


    Sheet Music

    Tryin' to Make Heaven My Home

    Composer(s): Uzee Brown, Jr.

    Song(s): My God Is So High, Over My Head, I Hear Music in the Air, Done Made My Vow To de Lord, Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning, I'm Trampin', Gonna Shout All Over God's Heaven, I Want To Die Easy When I Die, Great Day!

    Voice Type: Medium Voice

    Buy via GIA Publications

    Second Anthology of Art Songs by Black American Composers (Out-of-Print)

    Composer(s): Leslie Adams, Adolphus Hailstork, John Rosamond Johnson, Hall Johnson, Betty Jackson King, Howard Swanson, John W. Work III

    Song(s): "Prayer" (H. Leslie Adams)
    "Flying" (H. Leslie Adams)
    "Midas, Poor Midas" (H. Leslie Adams)
    "Christ at a Wedding" (H. Leslie Adams)
    "The Future" (T.J. Anderson)
    "I Want to Be Free" (T.J. Anderson)
    "People" (T.J. Anderson)
    "Life" (T.J. Anderson)
    "Hymn to Parnassus"(R. Nathaniel Dett)
    "Music I Heard with You" (Roger Dickerson)
    "I Dream a World" (Uzee Brown Jr.)
    "If He Only Walked in Gardens" (Mark Fax)
    "Entreat Me Not" (Mark Fax)
    "Slave Song" (Adolphus Hailstork)
    "Songs of Love and Justice": "Justice," "Difficulties," "Decisions," "Love" (Adolphus Hailstork)
    "Four Love Songs: "My Heart to Thy Heart," "Invitation to Love," "Longing," "Goodnight," "If we must die"(Adolphus Hailstork)
    "Three Simple Songs": "In Vain," "The Daffodils," "Christmas Everywhere" (Adolphus Hailstork)
    "Lil' gal" (J. Rosamond Johnson)
    "Crossing the Bar" (Hall Johnson)
    "The Foundling" (Hall Johnson)
    "Thou Art My Lute" (Thomas Kerr Jr.)
    "In Memoriam" (Thomas Kerr Jr.)
    "Soliloquy (Haunted)" (Thomas Kerr Jr.)
    "When You Feel a Little Blue" (James Lee III)
    "Three Dunbar Poems": "Compensation," "Theology," "Dawn" (Betty Jackson King)
    "Hatred" (Robert L. Morris)
    "Ubique" (Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson)
    "The Faithless Shepherdess" (Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson)
    From "Thirteen Jazz Settings": "In Case You Put Me Down," "They All Say You're Lovely," "No, Babe, We Never Swing," "You are Not Quite the Air," "In Your Arms Baby" (Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson)
    "One Day" (Howard Swanson)
    "Snow Dunes" (Howard Swanson)
    "Breathe on Me, Breath of God" (John W. Work, III)

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