New Harwood Music Teacher Brian Boyes.

Brian Boyes has big shoes to fill. He joins Harwood Union Middle/High School as the new music teacher after longtime music teachers Chris Rivers and Bruce Sklar retired at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. The Valley Reporter has reached out to all new Harwood teachers/staff members and will be publishing Q&As with those who respond in the coming weeks.



VR: Please provide a bio, including your educational background:

Boyes: I have worked in Vermont for over 25 years as a trumpeter, composer, arranger and band leader and multi-instrumentalist. For 25 years, I taught music and performing arts at Cabot School. For the last 10 years, I also served as a teacher-leader at Cabot, designing and implementing high quality project-based learning experiences. I am a three-time recipient of Cabot School’s Teacher of the Year award. In 2014, I was awarded a Rowland Foundation Fellowship to develop and implement a significant project of educational transformation in Vermont that focused on arts-infused project-based learning. I am the founder and creative director of SoundCheck, a band of select Vermont high school musicians writing and performing original music to fight for social justice. I hold two degrees from Goddard College; a BA in Music Performance & Composition (with minor in Ethnomusicology); and an MA in Education (Infusing Performing Arts into Project Based Learning).


VR: Why do you teach the subject matter that you do? What do you enjoy most about it?

Boyes: Music is a great example of learning by doing. I love supporting and coaching students towards a performance; helping them to believe in themselves and to stretch beyond what they thought was possible. I am a big proponent of youth and adult partnership, especially in the arts. It is a perfect model of how musicians and their producers work together to create new art. Models like this allow for both mentorship and independence which are critical components to the learning process. 

VR: What are you most looking forward to this year at Harwood?

Boyes: I am thrilled to be joining one of Vermont's most prominent and successful music departments. It is an honor to follow in the steps of both Chris Rivers and Bruce Sklar and to carry the program into the future. There is an immense amount of talent at Harwood and I can't wait to start working with the students!