By Jordan Beach
With more than 30 years of experience in music education, Dr. Kerry Bryant returns to Reinhardt University to serve as director of instrumental activities.
Byrant enters his new role with several connections already established at Reinhardt. During his time as director of bands at Adairsville High School, Bryant served as an adjunct professor for undergraduate and graduate level courses. His wife, Kelly, has been teaching flute as a faculty member at Reinhardt since 2008.
“Having been involved at RU before, even in an adjunct capacity, I could tell it's a place full of great faculty and music students that I really understand and enjoy,” said Bryant. “They are just like the students I taught for 30 years on the high school level, and I really enjoy being in their lives and growing their love of music.”
In addition to his 32 years in the field, Bryant held leadership roles and earned a number of honors. He served as First Vice-President for the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) in 2013-2015, and in 2016 earned the GMEA title of Teacher of the Year.
Bryant has maintained mentorships with dozens of former students over the course of his career who have gone on to become band directors across the country. When those former students attribute their actions to what he taught years ago, Bryant always finds the experience gratifying.
“I have always placed an emphasis on students, their growth and development as musicians, and making them aware of the awesome power an effective, caring music educator has to transform lives.”
While many uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic inhibit ideal practice conditions for musicians, Bryant plans to teach innovatively until a medical solution to the virus becomes a reality.
“Good music performance is so very dependent on spontaneous, ‘in-the-moment,’ non-verbal communication, particularly in large ensembles. I will, of course, strive to innovate and improvise as effectively as I can as the pandemic dictates.”
When musicians are able to practice and perform in person, Byrant’s short-term goals are for Reinhardt musicians to perform at the GMEA conference, along with regional and national music conferences, and for the University’s program to have two large instrumental ensembles.
“I look forward to having a much more direct role in producing great music educators and seeing them thrive and contribute as RU alums in the most awesome educational field imaginable: music."