Kerry J. Gilliard is a conductor, composer, adjudicator, arranger, clinician and educator in Prince Georges County, Maryland. A Baltimore native and product of Baltimore City Public Schools, he graduated from Walbrook Senior High School in 1991. He holds a Master of Music in Conducting (Wind Band Concentration) from Messiah College (2019), Master of Arts in Teaching through Grand Canyon University (2013), and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Bowie State University (2001). Kerry has been a public school music teacher since 2001 years; four of those years, he taught both instrumental and vocal music at the high school level, directing multiple ensembles (comprehensive choir, chamber choir, gospel choir, a show-style/traditional high stepping marching/pep band, concert band/wind ensemble and jazz band). In college, Mr. Gilliard served as primary arranger, student director and assistant band director for the Bowie State University Symphony of Soul Marching, Pep and Concert Bands. The marching band still plays music he arranged over two decades ago as part of their standard repertoire. He has performed with the Symphony of Soul around the country as well as with the BSU Jazz Ensemble on both alto and tenor sax. He has performed for various musicals produced by the BSU Theatre Department including multiple performances of The Wiz during the 90’s.
From 2001-2004, Mr. Gilliard taught at Central High School in Capitol Heights, Maryland. He served as both band and choir director, conducting two concert choirs, a gospel choir, concert band and marching band. From 2005-2015, he taught at Thomas Johnson Middle School in Prince George’s County conducting three performing ensembles – the concert band, symphonic band, and the jazz band. His groups received excellent and superior ratings in sight reading at district band festival and his individual students have received excellent and superior ratings at the district and state solo and ensemble festivals. The 2014 and 2015 symphonic bands received a superior rating at the district level and an excellent rating at the Maryland State Band Assessment in May of those same years.
Since 2015, Mr. Gilliard has been the music department chairman and director of instrumental music at DuVal High School in Lanham, MD (the main high school his middle school students feed into), teaching three concert bands, two string orchestras, percussion ensemble, jazz band, marching/pep band and multiple chamber ensembles. In 2019, the Symphonic Band, Concert Band and Concert Orchestra all received superior ratings at PGCPS Band and Orchestra Assessment and the Symphonic Band received an excellent rating at the Maryland State Band Assessment. In 2023, the Symphonic Band and Symphonic String Orchestra (“The Strings of DuVal”) both earned superior ratings.
In addition to his classroom ensemble work, Mr. Gilliard has been adjudicator for PGCPS’s Elementary Solo and Ensemble Festival multiple years and a clinician for both his district’s in-service meeting, as well as for the Maryland Music Educators Association state in-service.
An accomplished arranger and composer with over 35 of experience (writing his first arrangement at age 15), he has written for small and large instrumental ensembles with various combinations of wind and percussion instruments, piano and various vocal groupings. Since 1988, he has performed with and directed several church choirs (adult and children), praise teams and has served as a church musician performing on keyboard and saxophone.
In March 2013, Mr. Gilliard published his first new composition for wind band entitled Circus Festival March (Grade 2.5) which premiered at the Thomas Johnson Middle School 2013 Spring Concert, May 21, 2013. The song is available directly from Mr. Gilliard via his publishing company, 7th Letter Music Publishing as well as JW Pepper. Royal Procession for Band (Grade 1) premiered May 19, 2015 at Thomas Johnson Middle School’s 2015 Spring Concert. Mr. Gilliard is currently working on several works for band and orchestra to premiere variously throughout the 2023-2024 academic school year.
In addition to holding memberships in multiple professional music organizations (National Band Association, Maryland Band Directors Association, Maryland Orchestra Directors Association, National Association for Music Education), he has served as the chairperson of the Music Review Committee for Maryland Orchestra Directors Association (2017-2022). He has also served as a member of the Music review Committee for the Maryland Band Director’s Association (2019-2021). He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated (Spring 1995), Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, Incorporated (Eta Chi Chapter, Spring 2018, Honorary) and the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, Incorporated (Alpha Iota Chapter, Spring 2023, President-Elect).
Mr. Gilliard has also been a professional DJ, emcee and producer since 1991. He has composed and arranged tracks in the genres of House/Dance music, EDM, Hip-Hop and R & B. From November 2007 to November 2011, he served as the house DJ for Fourth Friday Fundamentals in Baltimore, MD (http://www.fourthfridayfundamentals.com) playing Christian Hip Hop exclusively. He has appearances on Christcentric member Evangel’s Expository Journey CD as well as a single entitled “X-Factor” on the 2023 formerly unreleased recordings compilation CD from Christcentric Records entitled X-Files. In August of 2020, “DJ K-Nyse” (pronounced ‘kay-nice’) returned to the turntables with both in-person events and live streams on YouTube, Facebook and primarily Twitch. K-Nyse released his first electronic dance music album, Braindrops Volume One, in June of 2022 along with various singles and remixes in 2021 and 2022. He is currently working on Braindrops Vol. 2: Tales of Logic and Reason.
He and his wonderful wife Danielle, also a Band and Orchestra director and part-time arranger, reside in the Washington, DC suburbs. His wife is currently director at Thomas Johnson Middle School and has improved on the tradition of superior performances he established during his time there. They are both charter members of the Fort Washington Symphonic Winds under the director of Mr. Walter Harley. In his non-existent spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, reading books on theology and apologetics and blogging occasionally at Theologically Correct dot Com and BlackCalvinist.com.