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Van Anthony Henry was born in New York City and grew up in the south Jersey town of Burlington, New Jersey. He attended Rider College and received a BA degree in sociology. After graduating Rider College he worked for one year in the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office in Princeton Junction, New Jersey. During that time he conducted the Golden Eagle Community Band, which called Mt. Holly, New Jersey home. During the same time period Mr. Henry served has choir director of his home church, First Baptist Church of Burlington.

During his time at Rider University Mr. Henry formed and directed the Rider College Pep Band and also conducted the first campus concert band Rider supported. At the suggestion of the band’s sponsor, Carl Schwartz, Mr. Henry completed his Rider degree and enrolled at Abilene Christian University to pursue his BME degree. Upon graduation from ACU Mr. Henry was offered the position of assistant band director at San Benito High School, located in the lower Rio Grande Valley.

In 1993, after holding position in the Dallas ISD, Austin ISD and Bastrop ISD, Mr. Henry was offered the position of Director of Bands by the Elgin ISD. In 1994, the Elgin High School Band was awarded the highest award a concert band could receive in Texas, TMEA Honor Band. This marked the first occasion that an ensemble conducted by an African American earned the distinction of Honor Band. His Elgin Bands earned numerous awards throughout Mr. Henry’s tenure. Shortly after being named TMEA Honor Band, the Elgin High School Band performed for the welcoming of then President

Bill Clinton during the President’s official visit to Austin. The band performed for approximately one hour for the president. At the conclusion of the performance President Clinton spoke individually to each of the 115 band members and three directors. In 1995 the Elgin High School Band under the director or Mr. Henry performed for the annual TMEA convention in San Antonio.

In 1997, Mr. Henry was offered the position of Director of Bands for the Bastrop ISD. In his first year as director of bands, the Bastrop High School Band earned its first ever division one award in marching. His second year at Bastrop marked the first ever sweepstakes award for the Bastrop High School program. The Bastrop bands went on to earned sweepstakes for many years under Mr. Henry’s director. Over the years the Bastrop Band was considered one of the finest 4A bands in the state of Texas.

In 2006 Mr. Henry was offered the position of Director of Bands for the College Station Independent District. Bands under Mr. Henry’s director earned numerous distinctions and awards included the UIL sweepstakes award every year of Mr. Henry’s tenure. In 2007 after 29 years of service to public schools in Texas, Mr. Henry retired from full time teaching. He is in demand as an adjudicator, clinician and region band conductor throughout Texas and the south.

Mr. Henry has many former students who have gone on to careers as doctors, lawyers, musicians, airline pilots, farmers, ranchers and more who maintain contact with him.

Mr. Henry and his spouse Jan have been married 35 years and have three grown children, Aaron, Rachel and Rebecca who are all enjoying their careers. Mr. Henry and his spouse are members of Christ Church in Georgetown where Mr. Henry serves as a deacon.


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