By Susan Shinn Turner
Last fall, Davis Brown debuted his Symphony No. 1 with the Salisbury Symphony in a concert at St. John’s.
This month, Davis — who’s been a composer for more than 40 years — will present a concert of original contemporary Christian music. The free event will take place in the Faith Center on Saturday, March 17, beginning at 3 pm.
Along with Davis, other featured performers include Bradley Chestnut on guitar and vocals, Ondria Witt on vocals, Kevin Agner on cello, and Sacha Witt on trombone.
Davis first performed at St. John’s on solo piano. As a result, Rob Durocher, minister of music, asked him to give a piano concert. But since Davis was teaching out of town, he had no time to prepare. Since he lives in Salisbury full-time now, he’s been a part of the praise band for the 9:27 service.
“Once I found myself regularly playing,” he says, “I started writing and finishing contemporary Christian songs.”
Rob’s invitation was still open, so Davis decided to plan a concert.
Davis says that his songwriting comes from the perspective of telling a story. As he develops songs, he thinks about working through a crisis or another situation — and looking for spiritual guidance and strength to cope.
The name of the concert, “Feed the Soul,” comes from that perspective, he says. Songs he has written include “Go Out and Kill a Giant” and “Rat Race.”
While still a classical composer, he enjoys the challenge of writing contemporary Christian music. “I’ve always thought classical and rock music went together surprisingly well. With contemporary Christian music, there are ways I can express myself that otherwise I might have a hard time doing. This is something different. Amplified instruments bring power to a piece of music. I want to be able to harness that power in a song.”
Davis adds, “The musical talent at St. John’s is deep here and getting deeper. This will be another way we can makeSt. John’s a special part of our community.”
“It always excites me to celebrate the musical gifts of a colleague, and, with Davis, I find this to be especially true. He pours himself into his music and into his keen sense of musical composition. I just know that this concert, which is a gift to us, will be a blessing!”