Music Notes: Notable Faculty


Professor Jann Bryant and Retirement


It is our honor to announce that Professor Jann Bryant will be retiring in June of 2017. As you all know, Mrs. Bryant is the beloved and knowledgeable music advisor for the Department of Music, and she has been the coordinator of music advising for the Advising Center since 1998. The Department of Music will sponsor a formal reception that is open to the campus and public. This will be held in the Fireplace Room of McCastlain Hall on Wednesday, May 3rd, from 2:00-4:00, with a short program of speaking and music scheduled for 3:00 pm.

As music advisor, Mrs. Bryant has displayed never-ending patience as music majors and minors attempt to schedule lists of ensembles and classes, which is more like putting together an intricate puzzle. Through diagnostics, auditions, drops, adds, and advice, she has been the consummate professional who is always vested in the students’ best interests. She has spent countless hours counseling students on their decisions, communication practices, and struggles; she has also been there to celebrate their accomplishments and successes. Seldom has a graduation gone by that Mrs. Bryant wasn’t taking pictures of students and walking alongside them. Mrs. Bryant has also been the torch bearer of the time honored Green Punch tradition, which heralds the Christmas season each year. In recent years, the event has come to include many special performances, the famous Stoby’s cheese dip, and other goodies.


Mrs. Bryant in purple and gray


Mrs. Bryant with graduates in 2016


Mrs. Bryant serving Green Punch









Mrs. Bryant was also the force behind the success of the UCA Community School of Music (CSM). She started the program at the request of the former music department chair, Sam Driggers, and accomplished this feat as a graduate student in 1990 while obtaining her MME. She remained at the helm for 25 years, having retired from that responsibility just two years ago. As a testament to her work with CSM, Mrs. Bryant received a Senate citation during the Voices of Central Arkansas (VOCA) Spring Concert a few years ago. This noted her impact on the CSM and VOCA, the chidren’s and youth choirs that have performed in Dallas, St. Louis, and Chicago, among others. Mrs. Bryant was often found at auditions, concerts, and trips throughout the group’s existence. She worked closely with former Jim Stone music specialist, Judy Rogers to begin what was then known as the Central Arkansas Children’s Choir. She continued to support the group under various conductors and current director, Dr. Sheri Cook-Cunningham. She even accompanied the group to New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2014 (pictured right).


Jann Bryant, Judy Rogers, and Sheri Cook-Cunningham at the 2014 VOCA Concert


Mrs. Bryant at Carnegie Hall with VOCA









Mrs. Bryant was certainly always made for music. The following is taken from the 2009 Arkansas Online article by Carol Rolf regarding Mrs. Bryant’s string training:

“I began violin lessons when I was in fifth grade,” she said, noting that she began singing when she was 5. “I took (violin) from Dr. Carl Forsberg. He went into public schools with a string orchestra and performed for the students. I began playing in the UCA (then known as Arkansas State Teachers College) Orchestra when I was in seventh grade. He (Forsberg) recruited me. He said he needed string players.” Bryant said she played in every musical presented at ASTC for several years. “Dr. Forsberg was also a member of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra,” she said. “When I was a junior and senior in high school, he took me to play in the ASO. I continued to play with the ASO while I was in college…” As seen below, Mrs. Bryant was a member of Arkansas All State ensembles. In addition to all of this, Mrs. Bryant was often on stage singing at UCA.


Mrs. Bryant’s All State picture (note Professor of Saxophone, Dr. Jackie Lamar in the photo above)


On stage performing “Guys and Dolls” with UCA alum, Doug Beasley in 1976









Bryant graduated in 1977 with a bachelor of music education degree with training in violin, piano, and voice. She received her master of music in education degree in 1991 after working in other areas. Since then, she has taught violin and Music Appreciation, in addition to her many other responsibilities. For years, she was doing the workload of two people, and she often still comes to school at night just to advise students whose schedules will not allow them to make appointments during the day.

Mrs. Bryant is also an ex-officio member of the music curriculum committee, the financial advisor of the Zeta Chi chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, and a member of ASTA, ArkMEA, ARKAAN, and NACADA. She was a charter member and secretary of the UCA Non-Tenure Track Faculty Senate from 1998-2000 and later served on the UCA Faculty Senate.


Jimmy and Jann


Mrs. Bryant with children, Zack and Melanie







Mrs. Bryant married Jimmy Bryant in 1981, stating, “The music department at UCA brought us together. He was a music major for a time, and played the tuba, but he changed his major to history.” Jimmy Bryant is now Director of Archives at UCA. The Bryants have two children, Zack and Malanie, and they are enjoying being grandparents. The Bryants are also supporters of Friends of Music, and they will be a part of the Department of Music for years to come. We will certainly miss Jann Bryant, but we are certainly happy for her well-earned retirement after influencing and inspiring numerous faculty and students over the past 27 years.


Jimmy and Jann at last year’s Friends of Music Gala


Relaxing at home during a well-deserved break


Jann Bryant has served countless students, including the wonderful young ladies from SAI.