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Trans-activist, vocalist, violinist, entrepreneur, and teacher Tona Brown has an international performance career throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe as a violinist and mezzo-soprano. Ms. Brown is also an advocate for transgender issues in the arts, often speaking and performing at colleges and universities. She 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. She is also the first transgender woman to headline at Carnegie Hall in a program of African-American composers with an all-inclusive LGBT cast of performers
Ms. Brown graduated from the Governor’s School for the Arts, a prestigious high school for gifted and talented students. She was formally educated at the Shenandoah University and Conservatory of Music, studying violin performance with minors in viola, piano, and voice. For Shenandoah University’s 2021 production of “Suor Angelica”, she recorded an opera movie, playing the role of La Zia Principessa.
Ms. Brown performed 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. Tona Brown is a judge for the 2023 Ben Holt Memorial Strings Competition for the National Association of Negro Musicians.
Tona teaches virtual private lessons to students around the world with her company Aida Studios.