Symphony honors teacher Gray

Advocate file photo --  The John Gray Jazz Trio will perform at the Juneteenth Roots and Heritage Festival Saturday. Show caption
Advocate file photo -- The John Gray Jazz Trio will perform at the Juneteenth Roots and Heritage Festival Saturday.

The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra has honored John Gray as its 2014 Teacher of the Year.

Gray is the band director at The Dunham School, where he teaches jazz band, concert band, pep band and praise band to students in the sixth through 12th grades. The award was announced during the symphony’s Masterworks VII concert on May 8.

Gray, a graduate of Southern University, has been band director at the private school since 2006. During his tenure, Gray has doubled the size of the jazz band and led students to receive many prestigious local and national honors. He also has doubled the size of the pep band, encouraging school spirit and participation through music.

Gray has brought in notable guest artists, including Robert Glasper and Vanessa Ruben, to work with the students, and has provided performance opportunities, such as the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge’s Fest for All, Heritage Music Festival in New Orleans and Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Gray also performs with several groups, including The Michael Foster Project, The JGray Jazz Trio, The Soul Jukeboxx and others.