Our Director

Jonathan Berry graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1987 from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor degree of Music Education where he also attended graduate school.

Mr. Berry is a member of National Association for Music Education, North Carolina Music Educators Association, the National Band Association, the International Trombone Association, the North Carolina Association of Educators, and the National Education Association with honorary memberships in Gamma Beta Phi and Kappa Kappa Psi honor fraternities.

Mr. Berry was named 1988 Young Band Director of the Year in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system where he taught at Northwest Junior High School and Piedmont Open Middle School. After moving to Burke County, Mr. Berry was named Band Director of East Burke High School where he has served since that time. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Northwest District Bandmasters Association, chaired both the Music Performance Assessment Festival (formerly the NC Concert Band festival) and the Solo and Small Ensemble festival from 1995 until 2000.


He received the FBA Award of Distinction in 1994, 1997, 2001, 2010 and 2012 recognizing outstanding achievements in instrumental Music education. As a performer, Mr. Berry has enjoyed performances with such notable artists as Richie Matteson, Buddy Baker, Phil Woods, Terry Gibbs, Jana Jae, The Aldridge Sisters, The George Jones Band, and with comedians Kitty Carlisle and Steve Allen. In 2002, he completed his National Teachers Certification in K-12 Childhood/Early Adolescent Music Education which he successfully renewed in 2012.

Since 1992, the bands of East Burke High School have continued their tradition of Excellence in Music and have been awarded many Superior performances in both marching and concert settings. Under Mr. Berry's direction, students from East Burke have performed in North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, and Florida, performed for Governor Jim Martin, Governor Jim Hunt, and Grammy winner Loonis McGlohon. Many of these same students continue to use their musical talents in their own communities today. Many former students have chosen Music Education as their career. Several others have chosen to become musical performers all across the country with ensembles including “The Commandant’s Own” United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, Carolina Crown, Santa Clara Vanguard, Star of Indiana, The Cavaliers, Spirit of Atlanta, Denver and the Mile High Orchestra(Dove Award winner 2012), Seven Miles, and with artists Jessie Daniels, Benton Blount, Nathan Hefner, and Kelly Clarkson.

​East Burke has won many local and regional contests, are the 10-time Carolina's Carrousel Parade Champions, the first annual Novant HealthCare Thanksgiving Day Parade Champion, and have performed in the national spotlight on CBS Sports and ESPN for the NFL's Carolina Panthers and for Wake Forest basketball. In 2008 and 2010, Bands from East Burke were crowned National Champions as part of the Florida Dynamic Music Festivals national concert and parade competition. In April 2013, the Cavalier Marching Band was invited to attend the 70th Commemoration of the Allied Invasion of France and participate in events in Collevile sue Mer, Saint-Mer Eglise, Point du Hoc, and Paris. This past December, East Burke along with Draughn, Freedom, and Patton High School assembled a 300+ member high school marching band and traveled together to Honolulu, Hawaii to represent North Carolina and the USS North Carolina in the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor performing on December 7, 2016.

​On May 21, 2012, the Class of 2012 dedicated East Burke's band practice facility and field to Mr. Berry. The "Jonathan C. Berry Field" is dedicated "for twenty years of devotion given to hundereds of band students... by the Class of 2012." The dedication took place at Lenoir-Rhyne University in PE Monroe Auditorium during the bands' Spring concerts.

​Jon lives in Drexel with his wife Karen and their three children Ashtyn, Alyson, and Austin. He maintains a busy schedule of teaching, directing, and arranging music for both high school bands and for Drexel First Baptist Church where he serves as Director of Music.