JACKSON PARKHURST AWARD FOR SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT
The Jackson Parkhurst Award for Special Achievement is named for the Symphony’s former director of education in recognition of his longstanding service and commitment to young people in the state of North Carolina.
2019/20 Honoree: Matt Fry
Matt Fry, currently in his 32nd year of teaching, is the Chorus Director at Jordan-Matthews High School in Siler City, North Carolina, where he was named Teacher of the Year for 2006/07 and again for 2017/18. He is a graduate of Missouri Western State College in St. Joseph, Missouri, where he received a bachelor’s degree in education, with honors, and was named the Outstanding Graduate in Vocal Music in 1988. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and North Carolina Music Educators Association (NCMEA).
Mr. Fry taught for 12 years in Caruthersville, Missouri, where his choirs and soloists consistently received “Superior” and “Excellent” ratings at district and state music festivals. He taught for one year at Eaton-Johnson Middle School in Henderson, North Carolina, before finding his home at Jordan-Matthews. His choirs have achieved “Superior” and “Excellent” ratings in the annual North Carolina Music Performance Adjudication. Several of his students have participated in NCMEA’s High School Honors Chorus and All-State Choral Festival.
In addition to his teaching, Mr. Fry is also the director of the Fearrington Village Singers and the choir at Rocky River Baptist Church in Siler City. He sang for nine years with the Duke Chapel Choir and for several seasons with the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Durham, both under the baton of Dr. Rodney Wynkoop.
Mr. Fry is a founding board member of the Jordan-Matthews Arts Foundation, an organization promoting the student artists at Jordan-Matthews. His philosophy of education is inspired the name of his school’s mascot, the Jets: Just do your job. Expect excellence from yourself and others, Teach others what you know, and Show up!