Lexington grad becomes 1st music director at Richland Academy of the Arts

September 14, 2017

MANSFIELD – For the first time in its 26-year history, Richland Academy of the Arts has a director of music.

Lexington native Greg Carter has officially joined the staff as the director of music, the first ever, full-time director of music at Richland Academy. The position was funded through a grant from the Richland County Foundation.

“In music education, Richland Academy has a core staff of part-time professionals who teach all different kinds of instruments and a few classes and we’re very grateful for them, but we have had no key person who has really had the leadership and the ability to bring that whole staff together,” said Marianne Cooper, executive director of the Academy.

“To make a concerted effort to have a director who can really make those community connections and reach even greater success with students of all ages has been a goal that we’ve had for a long time.”

After graduating from Lexington High School, Carter went to Capital University and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York to earn a master of music in jazz studies and contemporary media. He’s fluent in composition, arranging, saxophone (trumpet) and film scoring.

Immediately after graduating from Eastman, Carter accepted a professorship in the music department at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada. After 28 years at the university, Carter took an early retirement and will now continue his craft at Richland Academy of the Arts.

“The time is right to try something different,” Carter said. “This did not exist when I was a kid and I think it’s terrific; I think kids’ expectations and needs have changed, and certain information and experiences they want might not be available in public schools.”

Carter’s responsibilities at Richland Academy will include developing more musical opportunities for students of all ages, working closely with faculty, and performing.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the staff,” he said. “Since all of us love music and we can simply do that to the best of our abilities, maybe that will be infectious and offer opportunities in the community.”

In addition to Carter, a handful of new instructors will join Richland Academy of the Arts for the new school year. Michelle Quimby will serve as the new chair of the guitar department, and Megan Williams will serve as the Academy’s registrar and marketing team as well as certified in “Music Together,” a research-based Mommy & Me music program.

Other new staff members include Dana Reed in the visual arts, and Bryan Gladden as the arts community liaison. It’s all in an effort to continue the core mission of Richland Academy.

“Our motto at Richland Academy has always been to find the artist within, whatever level that might be,” Cooper said.

Richland Source-Brittany Shock, Staff Reporter

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