Earlier this year, our friend and long-time Director of Fantastic Festivals, Gary Partridge, announced his retirement from the scholastic music festival business he originated in 2007. Today, we are proud to introduce accomplished Connecticut music educator Keith Berry as the new Director of Fantastic Festivals!
The Inspire Arts & Music team wishes Gary a fantastic retirement and are excited to welcome Keith to the team! Learn more about Keith by viewing his bio below.
Keith Berry is a veteran music educator. For decades, he has served as the K-12 music department coordinator for the Manchester Public Schools and a music faculty member at Manchester (CT) High School. Before his present position, he taught at Southington High School and in the Farmington Public Schools at the middle and elementary school band levels. He received a Masters degree in Music Education from Central Connecticut State University and was a Magna cum Laude graduate of the Hartt School of Music.
At Manchester High School, Mr. Berry has led a variety of instrumental music ensembles. The Manchester Public Schools’ program is active in the community and the region. The MHS bands have earned musical accolades and awards over the years. Under Berry’s leadership, MHS has also become known for the quality of its professional/guest artist concert series.
Mr. Berry’s guest conducting credits include leading Jazz Ensembles and Concert Bands at CMEA’s Northern and Southern Region High School and Middle School Festivals, the
Eastern and Western Region Middle School Festival, and directing high school honors groups at the New England Music Camp, NCCC Festival, Berkshire League Music Festival, Charter Oak Conference Music Festival, and Quinnebaug Valley Conference Music Festival. He has also served as an adjudicator for ASBDA, Fantastic Festivals, Great East Music Festivals, and the Waterford HS Jazz Festival.
Berry’s professional memberships have included the Connecticut Music Educators Association, NAfME, International Association of Jazz Educators, International Trumpet Guild, and the Connecticut Goals 2000 music panel. Keith Berry is also a trained mentor who has regularly helped to guide the next generation of music educators by supervising student teachers. He has served the Connecticut Music Educators Association as a member of the Executive Board, festival chair, ensemble chair, and site director for both the All-State and Eastern Region music auditions. Keith Berry is an active professional performer recently appearing at the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz.
A native of Newark, Delaware, Keith Berry studied trumpet with Dr. David Blackinton (U of Del.), Roger Blackburn (Philadelphia Orchestra), Lloyd Geisler (National Symphony Orchestra), and Roger Murtha (Hartt/Hartford Symphony).