Vocalist, Violinist, entrepreneur, and teacher Tona Brown has an international performance career as a violinist, Mezzo-Soprano, and has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Ms. Brown is also an advocate for transgender issues and the arts often speaking and performing at colleges and universities. Tona Brown is the first transgender woman of color to perform the National Anthem for a sitting President at the LGBT Leadership Gala Dinner for former President Barack Obama at the Sheraton in NYC. Tona Brown was the first transgender woman to headline at Carnegie Hall performing a program of African American composers with an all-inclusive LGBT cast of performers.
Ms. Brown was formally educated at the Shenandoah University and conservatory of Music studying violin performance with minors in viola, piano, and voice. Tona graduated from the Governors School for the Arts a prestigious high school for gifted and talented students.
Tona Brown recorded an opera movie for Shenandoah University’s 2021 production of “Suor Angelica” playing the role of La Zia Principessa. Ms. Brown will be performing in a lead transgender role as Hannah After in the opera “As One” by Laura Kaminsky with the Lowell Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Orlando Cela in the fall of 2021. Ms. Brown was also asked to do a masterclass on Transgender Voices by the Virginia National Association of Teachers of singing and teaches private lessons to students with her company Aida Studios.
Ms. Brown has worked with our students at Hartwick College twice in three years. Her concerts were wonderful, but the real highlight was the time Tona spent working directly with the students! She connected with them effortlessly and offered powerful metaphors and tools for the students to expand their musicianship and technique. Tona Brown is an incredibly engaging speaker and performer, and we can't wait to have her visit again soon!