Maestra Deanne Bryant has been Conductor of the Bloomington Normal Youth Symphony since January 1995, following the directorship of Dr. Howard Rye, the founder of the BNYS.
A violinist and violist, Mrs. Bryant received both her Bachelors and Masters of Music Education degrees from Illinois State University. Hired in 1968 by the Unit 5 School District in Normal, Illinois after teaching in Carbondale and Elmhurst, Mrs. Bryant was asked to start the district-wide string program in 1969. During the first two years, she was involved in running an experimental string class for Paul Rolland as part of his University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign String Project, which eventually became an extremely well-respected text. Mrs. Bryant retired from Unit 5 in 1993, after having built a highly regarded string program with an award winning orchestra at Normal Community High School (NCHS). Under Mrs. Bryant's direction, the NCHS Orchestra received state-wide recognition with its performance at the 1982 Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Convention, and consistently received top ratings at the Illinois High School Association contests. the NCHS Orchestra did several performance tours, to Canada, New Orleans, and Orlando.
Mrs. Bryant has guest conducted festival orchestras and adjudicated contests for the Illinois High School Association, the Illinois Grade School Association, and the Illinois Elementary School Association (IMEA), as well as others. She has served in many capacities as Division Vice-President for two consecutive three-year terms. She also served on both the Board and Excutive Board of the IMEA during that time. She is also a forty-year member of the the ENC/IMRA, as well as the American String Teachers Association/National School Orchestra Association.
Mrs. Bryant is currently an adjunct instructor in the School of Music at Illinois Wesleyan University and performs with the Classic Touch quartet. She is deeply dedicated to the BNYS and loves working with our talented young musicians.
Laura Dolan received her Bachelor of Music degree from Illinois Wesleyan University, with a major in piano pedagogy. She has worked for the IWU School of Music since her graduation in 1988 and has held the position of Coordinator of Music Admissions since 1990. Mrs. Dolan is also a founding member of the Pratt Music Foundation and is on the Board of Share The Music.