By Ashley Rader
It’s quite a fete to rise to the top level in one state.
So what do you say when you do it in two?
Trey Harris, a former Elizabethton High School student and creative consultant for the EHS Betsy Band through its run of three Tennessee state titles in four years, was recently named the Virginia District VI Teacher of the Year and Virginia Music Educator of the Year.
Harris is band director at Bassett High School in Bassett, Va,, where he was named as Henry County District VI Teacher of the Year and finalist for Virginia Department of Education Teacher of the Year in September. In November, he received the title of Virginia Music Educator of the Year from the Virginia Music Educators Association.
For good measure, he also received the National Band Association Citation of Excellence in 2013.
“It has been pretty exciting,” Harris said. “It has been a great year. Receiving both of those recognitions is validation of the hard work that has taken place with the kids and the extra time that has been put in. Never in a million years did I think I would receive both of those honors.”
Harris graduated from EHS, where he was a trumpeter in the Betsy Band, and then East Tennessee State University in 1995. He was also a member of the ETSU band while attending college. He earned a degree in music with a concentration in instrumental music education.
He said music was always a part of his life, which led to his career choice as a music teacher and band director.
“I grew up with music in my background,” Harris said. “My dad was a band director. My mom was a piano major. She played, and still plays, the piano at church.”
While Harris is a full-time teacher at Bassett High School, he has worked as creative consultant with the EHS band for the past four years. As creative consultant, he writes the marching band program for the Betsy Band.
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