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Huntley Brown
1963 -	  Class of 2010  Performing Arts
Born in 1963, Huntley Brown grew up in a Christian home in Brown’s Town, St. Ann, on the island of Jamaica.  With basic instructions from a family friend, Paul Tucker, and his father, who played the accordion and a little piano, Huntley learned music by listening to recordings, such as those by Oscar Peterson, at a very young age.  After high school, Huntley started to play keyboards in hotel bands and piano bars in Jamaica, but found the club atmosphere in conflict with his faith and his mother’s words, “Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Shortly thereafter, and with urging from his friends, Huntley headed for the United States where he enrolled at Judson College in Elgin, Illinois.  He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in piano performance.  He continued his studies at Northern Illinois University, earning a master’s degree in piano performance and pedagogy.  

While at Northern Illinois University, Huntley met Annette Chestnut, a fellow Caribbean student who came to America from Barbados.  Following graduation, they were married.  For the past eighteen years, the Browns have lived in Aurora, along with their four daughters, Natalie, Natasha, Nicole, and Nadia.  Although his life revolves around his family and music, Huntley also pursues the marital arts (he holds a black belt) and enjoys ping pong.

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Huntley Brown has played professionally for more than twenty-seven years.  His music ministry has taken him all over the world, with TV, radio, and concert appearances in Austria, the Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Indonesia, Japan, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, St. Maarten, St. Vincent, Slovakia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Wales.  In the U.S. he has performed from coast to coast at churches of every size and denomination, from the Crystal Cathedral to Willow Creek Community Church.  In her nomination of Huntley, Penny Cameron said he was a “long term Aurora resident that consistently contributes musically world wide.”

Huntley was artist-in-residence for the Total Living Network in Chicago and played daily on television for hosts Jerry and Shirley Rose for many years.  He recently performed at one of Bill Gaither’s popular Homecoming concerts.  He was also the regular crusade pianist for the recently retired Dr. Ralph Bell, an associate evangelist with the Billy Graham Association.  As pianist for Ruth Graham and Friends Ministries, he has given seminars around the globe on music and worship.

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Huntley lectured and performed at the First International Gospel Music Festival in Italy in 2002 and received a Certificate of Appreciation.  He also regularly visits his undergraduate alma mater Judson University as a guest lecturer in the Worship Arts program.  In 2003, Judson named him their Alumnus of the Year.  Other multiple honors he has received from his home country include the Outstanding Jamaican Citizen Award (2006), a Citation of Honor (2007), and Outstanding Achievement Award (2005) from the Consulate of Jamaica, Chicago.  

Huntley Brown’s electrifying playing earned him the Top Caribbean Gospel Instrumentalist Award in 2005 and again in 2006.  Now a major recording star, he has recorded thirteen CDs covering a wide range of styles.  He has shared his musical talents and beliefs in churches, auditoriums, colleges, opera houses, and even to gang-infested high schools.  He personally views his music as an “offering of praise,” a gift he wants to “give back to God.” He is a strong advocate of classical music studies for all musicians, whatever their specialty, pointing out, “Classical music helps to build finger technique, dexterity, sight-reading, and rhythm…”

Early in 2010, Huntley was appointed as the musical ambassador for CTS Christian TV Station in Seoul, Korea, and will travel throughout that country when visiting there several times each year.  When he was inducted into the Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame with the Class of 2010, Huntley confessed, “I had dreams, and learned that, with God, all things are possible.”

Learn more at www.huntleybrown.org
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 Master’s degree in piano performance and pedagogy  Artis
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