Jamie Bryan will be inducted into the Florida Vocal Association Hall of Fame on Friday, July 27, during the FVA Summer Conference. She retired in June after a 40-year career in the Palm Beach County School District. She was the choral director at Palm Beach Gardens High School, her alma mater, for 30 years. Previous positions included Jupiter Middle School and North Shore High School. Jamie’s musical journey began at 7 when an astute ballet teacher asked her parents if, instead of dance lessons, they had considered piano lessons for their daughter. They wisely heeded her advice and purchased a piano the following week.
Jamie graduated from Wesleyan College with a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1978. Highlights of her career include 34 Candlelight performances, tours in Austria and Toronto, and 8 National Youth Choir performances at Carnegie Hall, where her choir was chosen as the featured high school choir in 2010, 2016 and 2018. She served 2 terms as FVA District Chair, and is very thankful to the Florida Vocal Association for all the opportunities to learn and grow, as well as the many directors who were mentors in the choral art.
Her choirs at Palm Beach Gardens High School consistently earned Superior ratings at district and state MPAs, including receiving Superiors with Distinction the past two years. She was honored to conduct the Palm Beach County District Honor Choir and Spotlight on Young Musicians Honor Choir in 2017, was the Northern Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year and was a 3-time finalist for the William T. Dwyer/Education Foundation Excellence in Education Award. She had the privilege of mentoring student teachers throughout her career, and many former students are active as music educators and performers, including her daughter and niece. Perhaps the greatest honor of her career occurred on June 2 when more than 300 former students returned from all over the country as well as Israel to sing together again for a 30-year chorus reunion concert.
An active adjudicator and church musician, she has been the organist/choir director at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Juno Beach for 32 years. Jamie and her husband Don have been married for 37 years and are the proud parents of David, a high school science teacher, and Mari, a music theater performer, along with their spouses Niki and Torrey. It is with a great deal of joy that Jamie’s most important activity will now be singing lullabies to 6-week-old granddaughter Hailie Grace.
Jamie has requested that “Jenny Rebecca” (arr. Clair McElfresh) be sung in her honor at the FVA Awards Ceremony. The piece will be conducted by longtime friend and Palm Beach County colleague, Ken Taylor (A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts).