Brown moves on from CHS choir program after five years of leadership
During his time as choir director, Joshua Brown has seen one of Coppell High School’s most esteemed programs through two standing ovations at national conventions, a near tripling of solo contestants in all-region competition and a performance at the White House.
On Monday, Brown turned in his letter of resignation from CHS, effective the end of the 2016-2017 school year. After five years on campus, Brown is ready to move on with his career. He plans to obtain a doctorate degree in music from the University of North Texas and begin a part-time job at St. Philip Presbyterian Church in Hurst.
While working in a church music ministry was his ultimate goal, the impact he made on the CHS choir program is traceable in the students he worked with during his time here.
“I’m pretty distraught because he’s been my teacher and my mentor for four years now,” senior and fourth year choir member Daniel Kim said. “Mr. Brown never gave up on me, he constantly pushed me. He never let me settle at a certain point, he always pushed me past it to better myself.”
One of Brown’s major accomplishments as choir director has been exposing students to a larger audience by attending more conventions and conferences.
Earlier this year, the a cappella choir took a trip to San Antonio to perform at the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Convention, a high honor for Texas choir programs. The convention hosts around 15,000 to 20,000 music educators each year, giving the CHS choir program a large amount of exposure.
“[Brown leaving is] a huge loss for us for sure,” assistant choir director Adam Gilliland said. “He has taken the program to a really high standard and made us a premiere program in Texas in a lot of way just because of the conferences they have been able to sing at and the successes they have had in all different facets of the music world.”
Although traveling and competing are a large part of his job description, Brown says his favorite part about the program are his students, many of whom have grown close to him over his years as director.
“[Working under Brown’s direction] has been a lot of work,” said Soundarya Daliparthy, who has also been in choir for four years. “It’s been stressful at times but we have seen a lot of success in the past two years, so it feels like it was worth it in the end.”
According to many involved in CHS choir, the positive transformation of the program under Brown’s leadership is undeniable.
“There’s more organization and better communication,” Brown said. “There’s a greater retention and more involvement in the program. We have more kids involved in the all-region program, with solo and ensemble.”
For the underclassmen students in the choir program, the hope is that whoever fills Brown’s shoes holds the program to the same standard that his predecessor did.
“Just six months ago, I couldn’t really sing very loud or in the right key at all,” sophomore Nick Cader said. “But TMEA came around and he really got us in gear and told us ‘this is what I expect’.
“I hope the next choir director is very flexible with people but I still hope he works as hard as Mr. Brown and pushes us to where we can get better while having fun.”
Although Brown leaves behind large shoes to fill, he is confident that whoever the district selects has his replacement will be “great”.
“Overall, the program is healthier than it was five years ago and that’s all you want to do is leave a place better than you found it,” Brown said. “I hope the [choir program] continues to get better and helps kids find expressive and creative outlets that they might otherwise not have had. I hope it encourages people to love music and the arts and one another.”