Piper Browne, class of 2011, is currently a junior at Tulane University in New Orleans. She was a member of the Soundwaves in high school and has continued to be passionate about singing while in college.
Donna O’Neill runs the Soundwaves, the a cappella group that Browne helped start. In O’Neill’s second year as a teacher here, she worked with Browne and several other students to start a small a cappella group, which eventually became the Soundwaves.
“Piper was a big part of the Soundwaves. She had an incredibly positive attitude that encouraged other students,” she said.
English teacher Daniel Koughan taught Browne and remembers performing with her in a school production of “West Side Story,” where Browne played the part of Maria as an underclassman.
“It was very clear why she got the role so young. She was a powerful performer with a beautiful voice who threw herself into the play as energetically and enthusiastically as she did in the classroom. She definitely upstaged me,” he said.
Currently, Browne is a member of an a cappella group on campus called Green Envy, whom she describes as her “best friends and [her] family.”
The group is recording a CD in Loyola New Orleans’ recording studio, and they often perform at events both on and off campus. Browne plans to run for president of the group for her senior year.
She also sings in a funk cover band that is beginning to write original songs.
“I absolutely love singing with a band, let alone a funk band. It is the most fun thing ever,” she said.
She is a double major in music and sociology with a minor in French.
Browne also sings outside of her many groups and classes, and often learns songs she likes on the guitar or collaborates with friends that are musical as well.
O’Neill said that she and Browne still keep in touch. “I think she has always been mature, and when I see her now, she looks so happy and content and full of life. She’s just boundless,” she said.
Browne spent the first semester of her junior year studying abroad in Senegal. “I cannot wait for the time when I get to go back, whenever that is. I met some of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life there and saw some of the most challenging but also awesome things,” she said.
Browne performed in Senegal as well as a part of a research project that took place during the last month of the program.
“For the last month of our program we did a research project and for mine I took voice lessons with a Senegalese musician and also studied a caste of people there basically dedicated to the performing arts,” she said.
As for after college, Browne has “no idea” but hopes to find a career that is “fun, lucrative enough so that I can live happily, interesting, involving lots of different people, and something that allows me to help people who need it. I know that’s pretty broad, but that’s all I’ve got at the moment,” she said.
She also plans on staying in New Orleans. “This city is too amazing to only live here for four years. Too much to do and see and experience!” she said.