If you’d asked Dakota Brown what he was going to grow up to do in college 5 years ago, he probably wouldn’t have told you he would be a great opera singer.
Dakota was a standout football player and wrestler at Woodland Park High School who wanted to attend Western State Colorado University so he could live in the mountains and pursue his passions of hunting and fishing.
Fast forward five years to graduation week, and Dakota is walking out of yet another voice lesson as he prepares to make his way into the world as a great vocalist.
“I came to Gunnison as a hunter and a football player, not exactly your stereotypical vocalist,” Brown says, “but while studying music here at Western I fell in love with opera. In opera, you get to take a character and interpret it your own way, add your own voice and feel to the words. I love that sort of creativity.”
Brown, who sang in the chorus at Woodland Park High School in addition to playing football, wrestling and running track, chose Western because of its small classes, great professors and affordable tuition. “This place is like a private college,” Brown says, “and I don’t think I would have had the same opportunities and personalized attention elsewhere.”
Brown has spent his summers singing with the Crested Butte opera and his school years participating in Western’s concert choir, chamber ensemble a musical, and other performances. He recently won Western’s annual Damson Music Competition, which was created in honor of beloved former music professor F. George Damson.
Dakota Brown hopes to stay in Gunnison after graduation and is working with another Western music graduate to establish an opera performance group for the Gunnison Valley.
(Written by Brian Barker, Director of Marketing & Media Relations)