Cover photo for Sandra Brown's Obituary
Sandra Brown Profile Photo
1946 Sandra 2022

Sandra Brown

October 1, 1946 — August 3, 2022

Legacy is more than the things we do. Legacy is the people whose lives we change.

Sandra Walker Brown, 75, of Augusta, GA passed away on August 3, 2022 in Augusta.

Sandra was born in Richmond, VA to Phillip Loth Walker and Mary Jane Behymer on
October 1, 1946. She graduated from Sanford Central High School in Sanford, NC in
1964 and from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) in 1969 with a
Bachelor of Music in Performance. She later studied at the Manhattan School of Music
where she met her husband and fellow opera singer Melvin Brown.
While a student at UNCG, Sandra participated in a performance of ‘Messiah’ at the
National Cathedral in Washington DC, the result of placing third in the Friday Morning
Music Club competition. Fellow Augustan Jessye Norman placed first. Still, it was
Sandra that National Symphony Orchestra Howard Mitchell tagged to perform with the

Soon, Sandra, still a young performer, found herself a mezzo-in-demand, performing
roles with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Chicago Lyric Opera, the San
Francisco Opera and the New York City Opera where she often performed with Beverly
Sills. She appeared with many regional opera companies and orchestras in the US and
Canada, including the Virginia Opera, Baltimore Opera, Montreal Opera, Augusta Opera,
Richmond Symphony, and Boston Symphony.

Notable roles included Micah in Hadel’s Samson which she performed with the Chicago
Lyric, San Francisco Opera and was her debut at the Met and Olga in Eugene Onegin
with Mirella Freni at the Chicago Lyric, San Francisco Opera and the Met. She also
performed the title role in ‘Carmen’ with the New York City Opera, Bradamante in
Vivaldi’s Orlando Furioso (San Francisco Opera) and Maddalena in ‘Rigoletto’ for the
Met. Over the course of her career, she also performed in Geissen, Gelsenkirchen and
Frankfurt in Germany where she lived with her husband and gave birth to their son, Noel.
In 1983 She was a featured performer at Spoleto Festival Italy, performing the title role in
‘Rape of Lucretia’.

She continued to perform after settling in Augusta, GA in 1988, appearing in concerts
and operas with symphonies and companies all over the world. At the same time, she
found a new career as an educator. A celebrated private voice teacher and a member of
the faculty at the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, she taught the next generation of
singers, and the generation after that, the many lessons she had learned on the great
stages of the world.

Those are the facts and figures – the status details of Sandra’s life telling her story in
finite events and accomplishments. But Sandra’s story is more than performances placed
on a resume. Because although a gifted singer, singing was not her greatest gift. Blessed
with a surplus of care, concern and charisma, she was a true influencer. Her approach to
performance, her enthusiasm for music of all stripes and her unabashed affection for her
students made her much more than merely an entertainer or teacher of technique. She was
a true master of music, a rare individual who understood its power and used it to engage
and often forever change the lives of others. She understood the mathematics of
music, but she relished the magic.

Sandra is preceded in death by her husband Melvin Brown.

Sandra is survived by her son Noel Christian Brown, brother Phillip Loth Walker,
Jr. and spouse Patricia of Brunswick, GA, brother Robert Holton Walker of
Southport, NC, sister Carolyn Walker Kopcho of Fairhope, AL, and granddaughter Eden Parker Brown.

Memorials may be given to Concerts with a Cause, Music Memorials at St John UMC,
the Augusta University Department of Music, or the Metropolitan Opera. A Memorial
Service will be held at 11 am Saturday, August 13 at St John United Methodist Church
with the Reverend Jenny Anderson of St John UMC officiating. Arrangements are by
Platt’s Funeral Home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sandra Brown, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, August 13, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. John United Methodist Church

736 Greene Street, Augusta, GA 30901

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