BRI AND BRICE ROBELL
Despite being two and a half years apart, Bri and Brice have often been mistaken as twins. Born and raised Catholics in Seattle, Washington, they grew up singing, playing piano, dancing in talent shows and performing together on stage in the musical theatre productions of Les Miserables, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Once Upon A Mattress, Annie, Guys and Dolls, and Footloose. While growing up alongside their father and his extended family of entertainers, Bri and Brice’s lives were full of music. At ages six and four, they studied with the same Russian classical piano teacher and took tap, jazz, and hip hop dance lessons under their beloved grandmother—a 1940s rockette from Radio City Music Hall. After her recent passing, Bri and Brice immediately knew that the best way to honor their grandmother’s legacy was to perform in “Dancing With Sacred Heart” and, simultaneously, give back to the Sacred Heart community they love.
While Brice could be found building a half-pipe and tree house in their backyard, Bri was typecast as the “serious student”—being told by teachers in sixth grade she was like “having a conversation with a 40-year-old woman.” Bri began competing in Washington state piano competitions at six and a half years old and she won first place six consecutive years in a row. When she was 10 years old, Bri began her vocal training as a liturgical musician and cantor at St. James Cathedral in the Archdiocese of Seattle. While her focus on musical studies grew, Bri was always blown away by Brice’s ability to waltz in without a rehearsal and capture attention with his charisma and rhythm. At 8 years old and without music lessons, Brice was often invited to play the drums at O’dea High School football games—an all-boys Catholic high school in Seattle.
Although Bri is the perfectionist and “serious” sibling of the two, she counts on Brice’s joy and lightheartedness to ground her in gratitude and to help her live in the present. Very proud of Bri’s accomplishments, Brice never lets anyone forget who his sister is and often tells people at her performances, “Hey, that’s my sister!” While Brice continues to pursue his business degree and play college basketball, Bri has served as music teacher at Sacred Heart Parish School and professor in the music department at the University of San Diego (USD). Currently, she is the music director at Sacred Heart Parish School and piano accompanist at Sacred Heart Parish and St. Joseph Cathedral. Bri continues to perform music services at USD and six other parishes throughout the Diocese of San Diego. Last year, Bri was invited and honored to cantor for the Installation Mass of the Sixth Bishop of San Diego, the Most Reverend Bishop Robert McElroy. In honor of Pope Francis’ declaration of the Holy Year of Mercy, Bri and Brice were featured vocalists in the San Diego Polish Catholic community’s English version of the 2016 World Youth Day hymn, “Blessed Are The Merciful”. The music video can be viewed on YouTube by clicking here.
Graduates from the Academy of Our Lady of Peace and Cathedral Catholic High School, respectively, Bri and Brice are 25 and 23 years old, determined to follow their dreams and to inspire young people to do the same by Standing Out But Not Fitting In—a concert program for schools that features sacred and secular music while giving students tools to make beneficial choices and build bridges between their faith, academics, social realities and dreams. To listen to their music and receive more information on upcoming performances, please visit http://brianarobell.com and follow them on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, & Twitter.