The 5 Browns – a talented piano group made up of siblings Ryan, Melody, Gregory, Deondra and Desirae – kept the crowd of several hundred fans in Beaver Creek, Colo., focused on their remarkable musical prowess and kept their words confined to their music during a public rehearsal, a meet-and-greet with piano students and the live performance Friday night.
They took the stage at the Vilar Performing Arts Center and went straight into a performance of "The Planets," written by Gustav Holst and Greg Anderson. The 5 Browns took turns introducing different pieces of music throughout the performance with smiles, laughs and jokes for the crowd, never once showing any signs of a family whose private nightmare had just been exposed to the world.
Desirae Brown, 32, may have inadvertently opened the curtain to the family's state of mind a little when she introduced "To Kill a Mockingbird: Main Title," a piece of music she performed with her sister Deondra, 30. She explained that she first read the famous book as a child, and has since read it over and over again.
"I felt that it changed my life," she told the crowd. "I feel like it's the most honest music we've ever played. To me, it's about innocence, and the loss of innocence, yet still believing in the good in humanity."
Eileen Bradley, of nearby Edwards, Colo., said during the show's intermission that the 5 Browns are "superb," and that their bravery in going public with the story of their molestation so that their father would face the consequences may give other victims of sexual abuse the courage to come forward.
"They're very mature and well adjusted," she said. "They've been living with this for years."
The 5 Browns' performance went off without issue, and the crowd rewarded them with two standing ovations: once after Gregory Brown, performed a solo rendition of "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2," and again at the end of the show.
"They seem to be engaging and encouraging each other with music," said Janet Beals, another Edwards, Colo., resident who came to the rehearsal earlier that day. "Someone said, and I agree, that the music probably saved them. The way they've overcome all of this is just incredible."
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