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NPR broadcaster and renowned musician to speak at Lake Erie College

Presenting a concert of old time tunes and songs with stories from his childhood and later travels in the southern mountains, newscaster and reporter for National Public Radio (NPR) in Washington, Paul Brown, will visit Lake Erie College on Monday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. in the C.K. Rickel Theatre to deliver a lecture and performance. Brown will also visit Hawken Upper School on Monday, Feb. 22 to present stories and music in the morning and conclude the day by working with writers in Hawken’s student-run Writing Center.  This event is opened to the Hawken community only. 

Brown specializes in producing and recording acoustic traditional and classical music. His recording credits range from full orchestras to solo fiddle and banjo players. Duties at NPR include anchoring newscasts, reporting breaking news, direct live newscasts and producing in-depth stories on the arts. Brown is also involved with freelance work such as photography and print.

While handling a vast array of on-air, reporting, editing, producing and directing duties, Brown brings over twenty years of radio and newspaper experience to NPR. With his years at NPR, Brown has worked as executive producer for weekend programming, acting executive producer, acting senior producer for NPR’s Talk of the Nation and acting senior producer for their Morning Edition, “Honky Tonks, Hymns & the Blues” in 2003.

Prior to joining NPR in 2001, Brown has served as a freelance reporter, radio producer and music producer in the south. He spent almost 13 years at NPR member station WFDD in Winston-Salem, NC, as production manager, news director and program director. In addition, Brown has produced and hosted a popular southern culture and music program, Across the Blue Ridge, and won an AP Enterprise Reporting Award for his coverage of the changing lives of tobacco factory workers at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

In 2000, Brown worked as sound recording engineer for the Preserving Living Traditions in Tibet, materials now displayed in the Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library at the University of Virginia. In the 1980s, Brown was part owner and editor of a weekly newspaper in North Carolina and worked at WPAQ, a historic mountain-music radio station in Mount Airy, NC.

Engaged in music since his early childhood, classical and traditional American southern old time music has been a part of his family for some time. He began playing classical piano at age five which continued for 10 years. At age 10 he learned the banjo and later added fiddle and guitar. Some of Brown’s songs and tunes came from his mother, who learned them in the 1920s and 1930s from older musicians in rural central Virginia.

Brown studied banjo with the late Tommy Jarrell under an NEA Folk Arts Apprenticeship grant. He won a National Federation of Community Broadcasters Silver Reel Award for his NPR music documentary Breaking Up Christmas: A Blue Ridge Mountain Holiday.

Brown has produced and performed on numerous CDs and LPs for the County, Smithsonian Folkways, Heritage and Rounder labels. His latest recordings include, Red Clay Country; Benton Flippen & Smokey Valley Boys: An Evening at WPAQ: 1984; and Way Down in North Carolina. The Benton Flippen album is the first digital reissue of the 1984 song recording session at radio station WPAQ when the old time band was at its peak.

Paul Brown’s parents knew so little about the great coaches of football that they really did name him Paul Brown, setting him up for decades of bad jokes and unmet expectations.

This event is free and open to the public but tickets are required for admittance. Reservations for the event are now closed.

Lake Erie College, located in Painesville, Ohio, currently serves more than 1,200 students. Founded in 1856, Lake Erie is an independent, liberal arts institution that challenges its students to "get in and stand out" in academics, athletics and student activities. The College offers 33 undergraduate majors and the option to design an individualized major to fit career and academic goals. Lake Erie's innovative learning experiences focus on helping students to meet career and life challenges, preparing for a world that is increasingly interdependent.

Hawken School is an independent, nonsectarian, co-educational day school of approximately 960 students, grades pre-K through 12, located on two campuses in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland. Founded in 1915, Hawken is recognized as one of the premier college preparatory schools in the nation with a diverse student body participating in a challenging program of academics, arts, and athletics that prepares them to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s world.


Note: This is a news archive and may contain outdated information.


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