OREM, Utah — The 5 Browns, the sibling piano ensemble, will give the keynote address at Utah Valley University’s 78th commencement exercises on Thursday, May 2, in the UCCU Center.
Convocations for the university’s colleges and schools will be held the next day, Friday, May 3, at various venues on campus.
UVU will award honorary doctorates at commencement to The 5 Browns collectively; as well as to Jeanette Bennett, editor of Utah Valley Magazine; and K. Newell Dayley, former dean for the School of the Arts at Utah Valley University and former dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications at Brigham Young University.1 comment on this story
The 5 Browns — Ryan, Melody, Gregory, Deondra, and Desirae — all attended New York's Juilliard School. They are the only family of five siblings ever accepted by the prestigious school. The quintet enjoyed their first wave of critical acclaim in February 2002 when People magazine dubbed them the "Fab Five" at about the same time they were featured on “Oprah” and “60 Minutes.”
All five siblings were born in Houston, Texas, where each began piano study at age 3. In 1991, the family moved to Utah, and the children were home-schooled and continued private study.
Working beyond their music, in late 2011 Desirae and Deondra Brown formed The Foundation for Survivors of Abuse, a nonprofit organization through which they advocate for victims' rights after their father pleaded guilty to sexually abusing his daughters when they were children.