Avery Payne is entering his fourth year of teaching and his second year as the Director of Bands at Millbrook High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. Prior to his appointment at Millbrook, Mr. Payne served as the Director of Bands and Orchestra at North Forsyth High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina for two years.
In his first year with Millbrook, Mr. Payne was able to continue the strong musical legacy of the Millbrook Band program earning numerous Superior and Excellent Ratings with Concert, Jazz, and Marching Ensembles while also placing students in the All-District and All-State Honors Ensembles. Students from Millbrook also participated in the UNCW and UNCG Honor Bands as well as the North Carolina Governor’s School. During his time at North Forsyth, Mr. Payne lead the Band Program to numerous Superior and Excellent ratings in the Concert, Marching, and Jazz settings including the Symphonic Band’s first Superior Rating in twelve years. Individual student accomplishments also rose, with numerous students earning spots in All-County Honors Bands and Orchestras, and for the first time in five-years students from North Forsyth placing into the Northwest All-District Honor Band. At the conclusion of his first year of teaching, Mr. Payne was nominated for and won the Forsyth Education Partnership’s Teacher of PROMISE award. This award is designed to honor a first year teacher who shows promise, responsibility, optimism, motivation, ingenuity, sensitivity, and excellence.
Mr. Payne pursued a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of South Carolina where he graduated Magna Cum Lade. While at Carolina, Mr. Payne gained significant performance experience on clarinet with the University of South Carolina Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Winds as well as the Palmetto Concert Band, all while taking private lessons with Professor Joseph Eller. Feature performances with these ensembles include the American Bandmasters Association Conference with the Wind Ensemble in 2014 and the College Band Directors National Association Conference with the Palmetto Concert Band in 2016. Additionally, Mr. Payne has also gained brass experience by playing Sousaphone with the “Carolina Marching Band” and the “Concocktion” Pep Bands. Mr. Payne has also worked with award-winning high school ensembles in North and South Carolina as an assistant, student teacher, and staff technician. Some of his previous experiences include time on staff of the Reagan High School Band of Raiders, time as a woodwind and marching specialist with the White Knoll High School Marching Band and student teaching with the Spring Valley High School Band Program.
Professionally Mr. Payne is a member of the National Association of Music Education, the North Carolina Music Educators Association, the North Carolina Band Directors Association, and of Kappa Kappa Psi the National Honorary Band Fraternity. In his free time Mr. Payne is an avid golfer and fan of the jazz-rock band Steely Dan.