Nervous and tense, she got on stage and stood in front of a panel of judges. Reaching down deep inside, she opened up and began to sing like she’s never sang before. She held nothing back. When she was done, a brief silence filled the air. Suddenly, the judges began to applaud. Her nerves calmed as she realized her dream was becoming a reality.
For Sgt. Tierra M. Brown, an automated logistic specialist with the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, her dream became a reality when she was selected for the U.S. Army Europe Soldier’s Chorus in October.
“It was great. I felt like I really deserved it. It was a great accomplishment, and I really felt proud of myself,” Sergeant Brown said. The USAREUR chorus is a group of Soldiers with different specialties who perform to enhance the morale of their fellow Soldiers. The chorus travels around Europe and several Middle Eastern countries, performing about 200 times a year.
The chorus has performed in places such as Moscow’s Red Square and in Iraq. They also served as part of a musical and cultural acknowledgement for Croatia and Albania during their accession ceremonies into NATO in 2009.
The men and women of the chorus represent the best vocalists and dancers of USAREUR. As a result, the auditions for the chorus are very competitive in search for talented Soldiers with the ability to sing and dance.
Prior to her initial audition, Sergeant Brown was required to submit her Enlisted Record Brief, Army Physical Fitness Test card and latest weapons qualification score to ensure she was within Army standards. Soldiers audition in their dress uniforms.
The process began as Sergeant Brown gave a brief autobiography before singing the national anthem and three solo songs in front of a panel of judges. This is the first step of the selection process. Soldiers who are selected are given 30-day attachment orders and temporarily assigned to the USAREUR Soldier’s Chorus leading up to their final auditions.
During those 30 days before the final auditions, the Soldier’s Chorus training noncommissioned officer works with the Soldiers on their vocal performances and picks three songs for each Soldier to perform. The next step is to perform these songs in front of the judges, who make the final selections.
“For my final audition I performed in a quartet. We performed ‘Auf Wiedersehen,’ the German nation anthem and the American national anthem,” Sergeant Brown said.
After all the practicing, auditioning and preparation, Sergeant Brown was selected to be a part of the USAREUR Soldier’s Chorus.
Two days later she was performing for the first time as a member of the chorus. In the last three months, she has performed multiple times at the residence of Gen. Carter F. Ham, the USAREUR commanding general.
Sergeant Brown said she started singing at the age of 6 in her church’s choir. She also remembers performing in local talent shows and singing the blues with her grandfather at a young age.
“I remember standing around the piano as my grandfather played blue suede shoes,” Sergeant Brown said. “All of the grandchildren would be jumping around and singing as he played. That was one of my earliest and fondest memories of singing.”
Growing up she listened to Tina Turner, Gladys Knight and Yolanda Adams. Her favorite genre to sing is Neo soul. Her favorite artists are Jill Scott and Erika Badu.
Driven by determination to be successful, Sergeant Brown said she overcame all her obstacles to reach her goal.
“I want to reach out to other people who have a passion for music and keep it inside. I just want to let people know to express themselves and get out there and not be ashamed of their gifts and pursue something,” she said.