Leading from the Keys: Davis Brown Steps in as Interim Worship Leader

By Susan Shinn Turner

Since mid-March, Davis Brown has been interim contemporary worship leader at 9:27 worship.

If his name sounds familiar, it should. Davis is a longtime musician for both 9:27 worship (keyboard) and 11 am worship (percussion).

“It’s going well,” he says of his new assignment. “I was honored to be considered for the position while they look for a permanent person. I’m enjoying this work very much.”

Davis is also a longtime composer, and while he is still very much rooted in classical music, he says, “it isn’t the be-all end-all.”

With contemporary music, he says, he has learned to use chord sheets.

“I’m feeling the vibe, if you will,” he says. “You have to know when to be inventive, and when to pull back and get out of people’s way. One just picks it up by experience. As the leader of the band, I certainly know what I want.”

He continues, “In the end, it’s the other musicians who have to try to interpret directions on a chord sheet, then make something that fits with a song.”

Davis is in the process of rebuilding the Praise Band, and is especially looking for guitar players.

“That’s what really makes a praise band,” he notes.

Asking Davis to take the reins for 9:27 was a pretty simple choice, says Rob Durocher, minster of music and the arts.

“Davis has been part of that service with his keyboard skills for quite a while,” Rob says. “He was always very creative in his ability to lead through the keyboard. He already has a built-in sense of trust and relationships. He’s doing the formidable job of keeping the worship going and working with our contemporary worship musicians. He does a great job of keeping things consistent. He’s flexible, willing, and thoughtful. He’s a rare breed of musician, given his knowledge of classical and rock styles.”

Davis says he enjoys the variety of both services.

“We are one congregation,” he says. “That’s why I’m glad I can have a role in both services. I’m blessed with being comfortable with both styles of music.”

Davis formed and ran a praise band at a church he attended in Charlottesville, so he’s also comfortable with the role of praise band leader.

“I’ve tried to make the transition seamless and I’ll make changes gradually,” he says.


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