Bryce Gray is proud to be in his third year participating in the New Brunswick (NJ) Chapter of the NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological & Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO). In his first year participating in the NJ State competition (2018) as a freshman, Bryce won silver in the Contemporary Vocal category and bronze in the Classical Instrumental category. In the 2019 NJ competition Bryce again won bronze in the Classical Instrumental category. He is excited to have won gold this year in Classical Instrumental playing piano.

Bryce is a junior at Franklin High School (FHS) in Somerset, NJ. At FHS, he is enrolled solely in Advanced Placement (AP) and Honors courses, and is in the top 10% of his class. Bryce loves to sing, play instruments (most notably the piano and clarinet), and participate in theatre productions.

Academically, Bryce is a member of the National Honor Society and serves as an AP Ambassador where he helps encourage other students to take advanced courses. Outside of the classroom at FHS, Bryce is in the Marching Band (where he serves as section leader), Concert Choir (where he sings and sometimes accompanies the choir on piano), The Madrigals (Acapella singing group where he is the pitch master), and Warriors Unite (students who engage in activities with peers who have disabilities). Bryce is also a member of the FHS theatre program, where he has performed or played music in five productions since his freshman year.

Bryce is in his fourth year as a member of the New Brunswick Alumni Kappa Youth Leadership and Developmental League (Kappa League). Sponsored by the men of the New Brunswick Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, Kappa League is a mentoring program focused on leadership training, personal accountability and responsibility, and career planning. Additionally, at his church, North Stelton AME in Piscataway (NJ), Bryce is the lead musician for the children’s choir accompanying the group on keyboard. Additionally, he sings with the teen choir, dances with the Sons of David liturgical dance ministry, and sings and plays throughout the year at various church events.

In addition to volunteering 3 hours each month with his church children’s choir, Bryce has averaged about 60 additional hours each of the past three years working with the theatre program at his former middle school. In the winter of 2018, Bryce served as the assistant music director for the play “Willy Wonka Jr” at Sampson G. Smith School in Somerset, NJ. He volunteered his time assisting soloists and ensembles in learning their music, by working with them vocally and by accompanying them on piano. He served in the same capacity in the winter of 2019 for the musical for “Footloose Jr” and again in the winter of 2020 for “Grease: The School Edition” compiling about 180 total volunteer hours over the three year period.

Bryce is looking ahead to college, and is interested in pursuing a major where he can merge his strong math and science skills with his love of music.

The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education began in 1980 to promote awareness and appreciation of the arts, recognizing the creativity, talent and leadership of the award winners. Each year, awards are presented to approximately 20 educators and 80 students. National and statewide organizations select the students for their exemplary work in creative writing, speech, dance, music, theatre and visual arts and the leaders for their exceptional commitment and contribution to arts education. The program also recognizes arts educators and arts education advocates, whose leadership has helped nurture the development of students in the arts across the state.

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The Governor’s Awards event is a partnership of the Arts Ed NJ, the Department of Education, Art Pride New Jersey Foundation, the Department of State and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by: the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics; Art Educators of New Jersey; Art Administrators of New Jersey; Dance New Jersey; New Jersey Council of Teachers of English; New Jersey Speech and Debate League; New Jersey Music Educators Association; New Jersey Performing Arts Center; Writer's Theatre of New Jersey; Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey; New Jersey Thespians and Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The cooperating organizations, award sponsors and individual members of the planning council dedicate their time to make sure that excellence in the arts is rewarded, and work tirelessly throughout the year to plan this special event. The Governor's Awards in Arts Education ceremony are a major collaborative effort of the arts, education and state government.