Seeger Chapel steeple against an orange sunset

Virtual release for professor’s book on music and the Holocaust

MILLIGAN, Tenn. (July 10, 2020) — Milligan University Professor of Music Dr. Kellie D. Brown recently published “The Sound of Hope,” a nonfiction book released by McFarland Publishing that reflects on how music provided solace, resistance and salvation during the Holocaust and World War II.

Milligan’s Libraries will host a virtual book release on Tuesday, July 21, at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Brown will discuss the inspiration for her book and read short excerpts. Time will be reserved for questions from the virtual audience. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Interested participants can register by contacting Mary Jackson at

Brown is a recognized authority on music in the concentration camps and ghettos during the Holocaust. Her passion for the topic stemmed from an interest in Alma Rosé, a world-class violinist who tragically ended up as the conductor of a women’s orchestra of prisoners in Auschwitz. In researching Alma Rosé, Brown uncovered the stories of other persecuted musicians and how the power of music impacted their lives.

“During my more than 20 years of research on the Holocaust, I noticed I couldn’t find a book that compiled the experiences of various interned musicians and focused on the power music held for oppressed groups throughout World War II,” shared Brown. “I have become increasingly grateful for the people whose lives I have described throughout this book. They have taught me that music holds the power to uplift the human spirit and to triumph over oppression, even amid incredible tragedy and suffering.”

Brown traced the stories of various musicians through scholarly literature, diaries, letters, memoirs, compositions and art pieces. In connecting historical events with personal narratives, Brown sought to provide greater context to a pivotal time in history.

“I’ve shared several of these stories at conferences and to various groups, and these individuals and their use of music deeply resonate with people,” said Brown. “I pray that this book has brought honor to these remarkable individuals’ memories as I have undertaken the holy calling of bearing witness to their stories and lifting back the folds of darkness to reveal moments of light and beauty, to discover where grace abounds.”

Brown studied violin performance and music education at Furman University and East Tennessee State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in music education. She also holds a master’s degree in violin performance from Appalachian State University and a doctoral degree in higher education administration, with an emphasis in music administration, from East Tennessee State University.

The Sound of Hope” is available for purchase from most book retailers.

Posted by on July 10, 2020.