Band Director & Bible Teacher
"I remember as a kid listening to AM radio in the morning before school. Certain days between the news and the farm reports they played big band music from the 1930’s–1940’s. I remember hearing the music of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and Duke Ellington for the first time and being totally captivated,” recalls HCS Band Director Brad Gregory.
Gregory discovered he had a knack for jazz and big band music at an early age. Though he started on the piano, Gregory picked up the alto saxophone in fifth grade and was hooked. “My first saxophone was an old silver sax that my mom played when she was in school,” he said.
Gregory played in every band his school offered. His freshman year of high school, he joined a jazz band. “For the first time I was able to play the music that had caught my attention.” After high school, Gregory attended a one-year Bible program at Word of Life Bible Institute, then graduated from Cedarville College with a degree in Music Education. He has also completed a Master's in Education from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Gregory spent 17 years teaching instrumental and choral music and Bible at a Christian school on Indy’s west side, working simultaneously as the assistant minister of music and the orchestra director at a church. Stepping down after nearly two decades in education, Gregory took a hard pass when he first heard about an open band director position at Heritage. But the Lord had different plans for him.
“As it happened many times in my life, almost immediately the Holy Spirit brought conviction,” he said. Resisting at first, Gregory filled out the job application for Heritage band director, telling God, “If you want me at Heritage you have to do it!”
Gregory keeps plenty busy teaching all 5th-12th grade band classes, middle school and high school jazz bands, and two seventh grade Bible classes. He also plays in the pit orchestra for Heritage musicals and runs the Honors Band Day.
Gregory has also transformed the middle and high school jazz band programs, inspiring many students to learn and take joy in the art of jazz. He teaches his students to learn the vocabulary of jazz through the study of scales, but he also emphasizes that his students simply learn jazz by listening. “The tradition of jazz music is an aural tradition. It doesn’t matter what kind or what era of jazz a person listens to, just start listening,” he said. “Listening helps students to understand the language of jazz and of course find their favorite kind of jazz.” Every year, under his leadership, the jazz bands host the Flavor of Jazz, an evening of catered desserts and a student-led jazz concert that almost always sells out.
Gregory loves to participate in music-making because it allows us to know God better. “As we are made in God’s image, so too can we participate in creating,” explained Gregory. “Since music is something that we will take into eternity, what a great opportunity we have now to practice and prepare for that day!”