What Keeps You Here?
Episode 7

Brian Fentress - Vocalist, Songwriter, Producer

Vergil Smith What Keeps You Here? published on

Brian Fentress is an international conductor, vocalist, vocal coach, songwriter and producer. As an active performer and music instructor throughout America and Europe, it is his desire to share the knowledge and skills he has acquired with all who are willing to receive. Brian has over 20 years of experience as a performer and educator. He has dedicated the majority of his life to creating life changing musical experiences and providing quality instruction for a diverse  demographic of singers, from amateur to professional.

Brian, haling from Detroit, MI., was born into a family of singers and musicians. At a very young age his family began to notice his natural music ability. Growing up in church, Brian began directing choirs and singing solos at the age of 5. As a child prodigy in gospel conducting, he took advantage of the opportunities around him and began learning from gospel greats such as Commissioned/Fred Hammond, James Hall, O'landa Draper, and Donald Lawrence. Simultaneously, he began accumulating influences from many other musical genres as well. 

In high school Brian was introduced to classical music and developed a passion for singing in the bel canto style. With only two years of classical training, Brian received a full music scholarship to Alabama A&M University. He graduated with honors in 2003 with a Bachelor's degree in Music Business. In 2005, Brian began traveling throughout Europe conducting gospel music workshops. He is credited for being an instructor for the largest workshop in Poland history with 1020 participants. During the same time he went on to continue his education at the University of Phoenix, where he graduated with a Master's degree in Secondary Education in 2006. Brian increased his singing and conducting skills by participating in professional classical and gospel choirs. In 2014, Brian completed his doctoral degree at the Academy of Music in Gda?sk, Poland in Artistic Conducting. Accordingly, Brian continues travel through Europe and North America working as a professional conductor, vocalist, vocal coach and consultant for choirs looking to add gospel music to their repertoire. 

A part of Brian's performance experience includes work as a background vocalist (live and in studio sessions) with many artists such as: Aretha Franklin, Lyle Lovett, Cece Winans, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Israel Houghton, Donnie McClurkin, Hezekiah Walker, and Kim Burrell to name a few. In addition to participating in many recording sessions, Brian has spent countless hours learning production skills during his internship with Fred Hammond for Face to Face Productions. As a result, the compositions and vocal production skills of Brian Fentress are comparable to none. He has become an anomaly by successfully combining his gospel music origins, classical and jazz education, composition abilities, vocal productions skills, and years of experience as a solo artist and conductor. 

Brian is known for his captivating charisma, powerful vocal ability, phenomenal conducting skills, his infectious openness, and inspiring positivity. You can be sure that you will receive a high quality and uplifting music experience whenever Brian is present!

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