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Bryant wins Alicia B. Lugo Award at community King celebration

Singer and educator James Bryant is the winner of the ninth annual Alicia B. Lugo Award.

Bryant received the award during the 11th annual Community Celebration honoring the life and work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the civil right pioneer’s birthday. The event, organized by motivational speaker Charles Alexander, took place Monday at Carver Recreation Center.

Bryant, a Charlottesville native, previously served as choral music teacher at Walker Upper Elementary School, where his colleagues selected him as Teacher of the Year in 1998. He also was a member of the Charlottesville School Board, serving as vice chair and chair.

He also served as senior resident counselor for the Upward Bound Program at UVa under the direction of Leah Puryear. He also worked for Community Attention and for Monticello Area Community Action Agency’s Summer Youth Works Program under the direction of the late Drewary Brown. Bryant received the Monticello Area Community Action Agency Teacher Award in 1990.

Bryant also has served as a mentor to students enrolled in the African American Teaching Fellows program. At the time of his retirement in 2016, Bryant was serving as a professional school counselor at Charlottesville High School. After retiring, he spent seven years as an academic coach at Piedmont Virginia Community College.

He received a bachelor of arts degree in music education with an emphasis in voice from Virginia Union University in 1977 and a master’s degree in education from the University of Virginia in 2006.

Bryant, a member and soloist of the Sanctuary Choir at Mount Zion First African Baptist Church, remains active as a soloist throughout the Charlottesville area. He has sung for First Night Virginia, the Oratorio Society of Virginia and Charlottesville Opera predecessor Ash-Lawn Highland Opera. He sang the role of Nate in William Grant Still’s "Highway One U.S.A." and the role of Melchior in "Amahl and the Night Visitors." He also sang with the concert and touring choirs while attending Virginia Union University.


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