Staff writer Victoria Bowlin sat down with The Browns’ Michaela Brown for a short get-to-know-you Q&A with the popular vocalist!
Victoria Bowlin: How long have you been singing and playing the violin?
Michaela Brown: I have been singing for as long as I can remember. There was always a song in our house, so singing started when the talking did! I started taking violin lessons when I was 8, so just a few years ago! Haha!
VB: I have heard that you are a pretty good cook and went to culinary school. What made you want to be a chef?
MB: My love for cooking also started when I was very young. My Mom is a wonderful cook, and my Grandmas were all exceptional cooks. They all had different cooking techniques, so I inherited a little of each! Although Paris and some of the other cooking schools I’ve been to teach some fun and fancy food, I still love to cook my Midwest farm food and German family favorites!
VB: What’s the latest, exciting thing going on in your life right now?
MB: The theater and music is pretty much my life right now! Producing new music for shows, marketing, practicing, graphic design…. it seems like a lot of work, and it is, but once we step on stage and start singing and doing what we love, it is all worth it!
VB: Recently, your family opened a small theater in your hometown. Tell us a little about that.
MB: About 10 years ago, we were in a Christmas Show in Branson, Missouri with Garry McSpadden (Gaither Trio, Oak Ridge Boys). So, it was always a dream of ours to have our own theater someday. Our hometown, Le Mars, Iowa, is the Ice Cream Capital of the World, home of Wells Blue Bunny Ice Cream. We have a lot of visitors that come through. In 2015, we bought a 100 year old historic bank building and turned it into a state of the art music theater. The response of our first season was overwhelming and still continues to be! We do themed shows each month, a Celtic show, Easter show, Ladies Tea and Concert, Ice Cream Days show, Patriotic show, Variety show, Old Time Country Music show, Gospel Music show, and our biggest season, Christmas! We love making music, and this is stretching us in so many good ways! It is also a huge ministry opportunity, as there is such a diverse audience walking through our doors that are hearing the Gospel message!
VB: Are the Browns still traveling and ministering?
MB: Of course!! We never stopped or said we were going to! As most of you know, Iowa is a long way from the heart of “Southern Gospel Country”. We love traveling, and have been for 17 years, but now that our theater is open, we are able to sing at home one or two weekends a month and be better stewards of our traveling time the rest of the month! Summer is a busy time on the road, of course. Come November and December though, we will be performing our “Christmas Around The World” show at the theater almost every day!
VB: Do you (The Browns) have anything new coming soon that we should be looking for?
MB: We are starting down the road to a new album with StowTown Records. We are always excited for new music!
VB: Where is your favorite place to visit?
MB: I am a huge traveler, inside the U.S. and beyond! So, this is a hard question for me. Over my last birthday, I took a short trip back to Branson, Missouri. It’s been a while since I have spent more than a day there. I went to five shows in two days! I just had a ball and was reminded why I loved the short time we lived and performed there so many years ago!
VB: What is your funniest road memory?
MB: We were flying to the studio to record one of our hymn projects. We had a layover, and Mom took off to go get some food. Us kids were just chilling at the gate, and they started to board. After a while, Mom still wasn’t back, so we called her. No answer. Next thing you know, they are calling for final boarding. We are frantically calling Mom. Still no answer. Finally, the gal tells us that we have to get on the plane or they are closing the door. So, I rationalize that it would be easier for Mom to get one flight, then all of us finding 4 flights…. So, we left our Mom at the airport! Once we were seated, and they closed the door, she finally answered. I said, “Mom! You just missed the flight!”. She said, “Oh, you’re just joking!”. Before I had to hang up my phone, I heard her walk up to the gate and say, “My kids are on that flight!” She did make it out on the next flight and had even brought us back soup, which we obviously never got to eat!
VB: Why do you do what you do?
MB: Because God gives us all gifts, mine is music! I believe we are here to share those gifts with others to the Glory of God and to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When our family started singing 17 years ago, God showed us, through some pretty cool circumstances, that He was calling us to sing as a family. He has been leading us ever since! We’ll keep singing the song He put in our hearts till He tells us otherwise!
VB: How can people get in touch with The Browns?