Most brothers might want to have some space away from each other once they move into college. That isn’t the case for twin brothers Grant and Brooks Bias at University of Mobile. Grant, a freshman majoring in worship leadership (pictured in jacket), and Brooks, a freshman majoring in theology with a music minor (button-down shirt), say it is a perk to be able to live together and use each other’s skills to help one another in their first year at college. UM’s Marketing & Public Relations Office intern Jonathan Harding talked with the brothers to see what it was like to move in during the school year, how they tackle things together, and how being at University of Mobile is helping them along the way.
Jonathan: What made you choose UM, especially since you both made the same choice?
Grant: Dr. Breland reached out to us because he saw videos of us on social media and he wanted us to check out the ensembles that ASOTA offers. So I made it into Voices of Mobile and Brooks is the bass guitarist in Ignite. (Dr. Roger Breland is executive director of the Roger Breland Center for Performing Arts in the Alabama School of the Arts at University of Mobile – ASOTA.)
Brooks: From the beginning, the higher standard of excellency that University of Mobile strives for stood out the most.
Jonathan: You guys moved onto campus around December, when your house sold. What was it like moving in when your parents moved further away?
Brooks: We were super excited to get involved more on campus. The best part was how excited everyone was for us, and how Student Life was so welcoming and encouraging. It was important to see how we were accepted by everyone.
Jonathan: Brooks, why are you changing your major from music to theology?
Brooks: I have always wanted to be a pastor, and I didn’t know whether that was going to be music or preaching until I started here. After one of the first few chapels, I realized that I have been called to preach. It has been really cool to see how the professors here have been supporting me as I make this choice.
Jonathan: What does being involved with ASOTA mean to you both?
Grant: I am a little different because I am in Voices of Mobile. We have one of the busiest schedules of all the groups, so it requires me to get homework done early during the week, so I am not cramming on the weekends while we travel. That being said, ASOTA offers so many opportunities to minister and sharpen your craft while learning how to stay on top of your work. They will give it to you as long as you prove you can do it.
Brooks: I second that. When it comes to ASOTA, they will give you every opportunity as long as (1) You bring it to the table and (2) You are going to get out what you put in. They strive for excellency; you put in effort and you WILL reap the benefits. Even after just one semester, I can see that the more I put in, the more I am getting out personally, whether that is physically through practice and playing better, but also spiritually. Sometimes it can test your faith and patience, but the more you grow, you can use it in the long run.
Jonathan: What does it mean to you guys to be able to be in the same dorm together? I thought brothers wouldn’t want to be stuck together any longer? How do you work together?
Grant: We can relate to each other better than we can to anyone else. We are brothers, and we go through the same types of troubles. We can understand each other. I can come in from Voices at 2 or 3 in the morning while he is sleeping and not have any kind of issues because we are on the same page.
Brooks: We show patience and we understand the late nights. For me, I know his tendencies, and it’s great because when I have a good day, I know I can go to him and that also means on bad days we can go to each other as well. Now we have our friends that we have met here that support us and we can go to them as well.
Grant: The best part of rooming together is that we can share snacks.
Brooks: Absolutely, without a doubt. It also is nice because since we are both in ASOTA, we can go to each other to discuss song choices and even work on stuff together because of the setup we have here in our room.
Jonathan: Is there anything else you guys want to mention to people who might be looking at this school ,or ASOTA specifically, to help them get an idea on what it is all about?
Grant: If you are looking at being in a music program – no matter your skill or background – there is a place for you. Whether it’s theater, singing or instrumental, there are opportunities for everyone. They will give you the ability to use your gift. It’s a smaller school with a more personal vibe.
Brooks: Look deeper when you look at this school. Look at everything it has to offer. University of Mobile is like an iceberg – it looks small from a distance, but under the surface there is so much you wouldn’t expect to find. There are 19 ensembles – I mean, come on, there is even a Celtic group! I had never heard of that before I got here. Step past your fear and step out in faith because, more than likely, there will something here for you.