A Carnegie Dream Come True

Rivers Brunson Experience, Spring 2019

As the bass singer and one of four University of Mobile alumni in the classical crossover quintent Veritas, Scott Lawrence provides a strong and steady foundation to the group’s wide range of harmonies. But it is as a powerhouse soloist with an extraordinary vocal range that Lawrence recently brought a Carnegie Hall audience to its feet.

The University of Mobile alumnus has obviously come a long way since his senior year when he refused to audition for a role in “Saviour,” a modern oratorio telling the story of God’s passion for His people, that the Roger Breland Center for Performing Arts in the Alabama School of the Arts performs regularly.

“I wasn’t confident that I was capable of singing it,” he said. “But then mysteriously my name showed up on the cast list. I am pretty confident Dr. Al Miller had something to do with that…” The dean of the Alabama School of the Arts (ASOTA) is as much a prankster as he is believer in students who don’t yet believe in themselves. Lawrence went on to perform it that year, and many times since.

But his performance on Oct. 1, 2018, was unlike any of the rest.

It was his first performance at Carnegie Hall apartfrom Veritas. The 25th Anniversary of “Saviour” – which is comprised of a choir, orchestra and five soloists – featured Lawrence alongside Larnelle Harris of the original cast, Christian contemporary recording artist Travis Cottrell, Wes Hampton of the Gaither Vocal Band, and Annie Dupree of the Annie Moses Band. The concert was conducted by David Hamilton and produced by True North Presents. Bob Nelson and Greg Farrell, who wrote the work, were in attendance.

And to complete the dream come true? His wife Ellie Thomas Lawrence ’11 and one-year-old daughter Ivey made the trip with him – “though we had enough foresight to make alternative plans for Ivey during the concert itself,” he said, with a laugh.

Scott and Ellie are both alumni of University of Mobile and remain part of the tight-knit Alabama School of the Arts. Ellie graduated with a Bachelor of Music in violin performance, is an accomplished violinist and vocalist, and serves in ASOTA as a staff member and advisor. Scott, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in theology and Bachelor of Music in vocal performance, has served as an adjunct faculty member for three years, while working professionally as a graphic artist and web developer.

He is enrolled in UM’s new Master of Music in vocal performance, and plans to graduate in May 2019.

“This program is unlike any in the country in that it’s extremely forward-thinking and tailored to equip the students for a 21st-century music career,” Lawrence said. “In today’s music industry, which is changing at a faster rate than ever before, the Alabama School of the Arts is ensuring that its graduates are equipped with not only the knowledge but also experience they need to enter the performing space and excel musically and professionally.” And excelling musically and professionally in the performing space is something that Scott Lawrence knows a thing or two about.

About the Author
Rivers Brunson

Rivers Brunson

Rivers is an experienced writer and an alumna of University of Mobile. She graduated in 2015 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication. She returned to University of Mobile professionally as marketing communications specialist in 2017. She also hosts a podcast with Bellum Creative Group called Due South about Southern arts and culture. A Grove Hill, Alabama native, Rivers fell in love with the city of Mobile as an undergraduate student and now calls it home; however she takes frequent trips to see her family who are NAMB church planters in Livingston, Montana. She has a lovable golden retriever named Cooper.