Andrea Brett is the unassuming, but phenomenally talented, glue that holds The Brett Family together. “I’m really uncomfortable with attention,” she says. “The first time I saw myself on a billboard I thought to myself, ‘What am I doing?’” But attention shouldn’t come as a surprise to someone with such a variety of musical abilities.
Andrea was born into a very musical family. Growing up in Spokane, WA, she sang with her sisters at various events all around the community. Her mother, Zoe, was an exceptional piano accompanist and would play for the girls wherever they went. Andrea remembers: “My parents always encouraged us kids to develop our musical talents. Mom would say, ‘You sing, I’ll do the dishes.’” Andrea would eventually attend Brigham Young University to study voice, choral conducting, and music composition. Two years later, she was ready to transfer to the University of Kansas to study music therapy, but her marriage to Tom took the young couple to Kansas City instead, where Tom studied chiropractic medicine. In Kansas City, Andrea kept on expanding her musical abilities by teaching piano lessons and continuing to write original music and arrangements.
The music continued as the family moved to Dallas, TX. Andrea and Tom sang all over the community and added the kids as they came along. Andrea homeschooled the children, and music was always an important element of the curriculum. In between taking kids to basketball games, recitals, and lessons, she still found time to continue arranging and writing. She also conducted multiple church choirs, and her reputation as an innovative and tasteful vocal arranger really started to grow. By the time The Brett Family was ready to take their act to Branson they had already recorded two albums, and Andrea was the sole vocal arranger on both projects.
After arriving in Branson, and with the ability to devote more time to her musical pursuits, Andrea began developing even more as a singer/songwriter, an entertainer, an arranger, a live show producer, and even a costume designer. “A lot of my development since we came to Branson has arisen out of necessity,” she says. “I never intended to be a costume designer, but we’ve had to do these types of things because it’s just part of owning your own show, and we like having our hands in all elements of production.” And her hands certainly are in a little bit of everything. In addition to her above-mentioned expertise, she is also a capable pianist, a poet, and she is learning to play the mandolin.
Andrea has appeared twice on Tony Orlando’s annual Veteran’s Show, performing her powerful patriotic poem, I Am a Veteran. This poem has touched millions, and is routinely recited at Veteran’s gatherings all around the United States. Her original patriotic song, I’ll Give America My All, was performed at the 2004 Presidential Inaugural Ball Simulcast (broadcast live from Branson), and has become a Branson patriotic tradition. Her rich alto voice is often compared to Karen Carpenter, Anne Murray, and Linda Ronstadt, and her warmth and grace on stage add class and elegance to every show she performs. She is currently working on compiling her arrangements and original music for publication, and an album of all original music is in the works as well.
“I don’t feel like I’ve even come close to doing what I’m capable of doing musically,” she says. “I feel like I could sit down and write music all day without running out of things to write. It’s exciting to look to the future for both myself and the family. We’ve got a lot of things yet to create.” This is good news for the thousands who have and will enjoy her talents. And while she might not feel at home on billboards or TV screens, she certainly feels at home onstage, or in the studio with a pen and a pad, which is exactly where the world needs her to be.