Not many Samford students come from Eugene, Oregon by way of Atlanta but luckily Bradyn Debysingh did just that. He met assistant art professor Stephen Watson at a ministry conference in Atlanta who put him in contact with the theatre department. “I was hooked after I came and auditioned!” said Debysingh. Now, he is graduating with a dual degree in musical theatre and classics.
“Bradyn’s thirst for education and to continually search for routes that will challenge and develop him as an artist, person, and student have made him incredibly successful at Samford,” said Chelsea Nicholson, director of Samford’s musical theatre program. “What makes Bradyn stand out to me is that he is a true Renaissance man. He will not settle for following one path in this life, but searches for all the different trails the Lord uncovers for him to follow, and he follows each one with great fervor, passion, and delight.”
A Samford University Fellow, Debysingh has packed his four years with many accomplishments. He has performed in multiple productions each year in both opera and musical theatre while pursuing his passion for Greek and Latin literature through research projects and international courses in Greece, Italy, and France. Just this year, he was one of two students to win the Concerto-Aria Competition and perform with the Samford Orchestra. His credits are too many to list, but he did enjoy one role in particular.
“Hands down my favorite role was John Adams in 1776. It was a treasure to play a real person from the past whom I so greatly admire. His work ethic and commitment to the ideals of liberty and justice inspire me. He was one of the only Founding Fathers to never own a slave on principle, and the Declaration of Independence would never have come to fruition without his unwavering resolve! We owe him an enormous debt and he is, in so many ways, a reflection of myself: overworked but determined to see things through. Ha!” quipped Debysingh.
He said he will miss Samford’s beautiful campus, “but most of all, I shall certainly miss the wonderful teachers and friends I have made here. The people, the Samford family, is what makes Samford strong. I could not have asked for a more beautifully compassionate, academically excellent, and Christ-honoring community to call home for the past four years.” Both Nicholson and Kristin Kenning, director of Samford Opera, played a huge role in his growth as an artist as well as a person at Samford.
“Learning how to be good at what I love, fail well at the hard things, get up again, and trust God no matter what,” are the greatest lessons he will take away from Samford. His success will lead to pursuing a Master of Music degree at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. He will be in the studio of W. Stephen Smith who is the author of The Naked Voice and is one of the world’s foremost vocal pedagogues. “I cannot overemphasize how blessed I am and how wonderfully I have been prepared at Samford to enter this next big step in my career!” said Debysingh.
He has been a leader and inspiration to both his peers and faculty. “He is the definition of an artist scholar. I anticipate he will perform, write, and teach at exceptionally high levels. His voice is an undeniable gift, but it’s his vision, flexibility, and diligence that will create a successful singing career,” said Kenning.
Bradyn is excited for his future beyond graduate school. He plans to “Travel everywhere and perform everywhere…I’d love to one day pursue further interdisciplinary study in theology, classics, and the arts and develop new performance practices that are artistically excellent and biblically informed. In the end, all of this must be, as J. S. Bach famously penned, Soli Deo Gloria – for the glory of God alone,” said Debysingh.
He will end his Samford career reading Scripture at the final commencement ceremony on May 8.