Mississippi Valley State University just made history with its recent appointment of Dr. Kerry Anne Simon to band director.
Simon, who was appointed on May 14, will step into her new role on July 1, 2019, is not only the first female band director in the school’s history, but she’s also the first female band director in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), reports the school’s website.
“We’re excited to have Dr. Kerry Simon carry on and build upon the excellence of our University Bands program,” MVSU President Dr. Jerryl Briggs said. “As an alumna of MVSU, she has deep roots and an undeniable passion for The Valley. I am looking forward to seeing great things from her.”
Simon, who graduated from MVSU in 1995, is a former member of the school’s “Mean Green Marching Machine” band and comes from a strong music education background. After earning a master of education degree from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, and a master of music education from Tennessee State University, Simon continued her education by earning a Ph.D. in music education from Florida State University.
From 2014 to 2017, she served as the assistant director of bands at Coahoma Community College. Then, in August 2017, she joined the MVSU family as associate director, before stepping into her new role as band director.
“It hasn’t hit me yet,” Simon said of her new historical position. “This is a male-dominated field, for sure. I think we’re in the time now where people are paying more attention to women in the workplace.”
Her goal, she says, is to take the school’s marching band to a new level where they are “a force to be reckoned with.”
“I’m built with a mindset for greatness,” she adds, “and I want that for Valley and the band.”