The Legacy of Gladys Whitworth Bray, Ph.D. (1933-2017)

Dr. Gladys W. Bray was a native of Winston Salem, North Carolina.  She received an undergraduate degree in Biology at North Carolina College (North Carolina Central University); earned a Master's Degree in Science Education from Fisk University and completed her Doctorate in Education from The Catholic University of America in 1982.


Dr. Bray was a classroom teacher and education support professional at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts/Western High School for more than thirty years.  Utilizing her passion and education, Dr. Bray created the East of the River Boys and Girls Steel Band in 1992.  The risk-focused, multidisciplinary arts training and education enrichment program focuses on serving youth and their families through steel pan music.  She created opportunities for the band to travel regionally and internationally.  Highlights include visits to Trinidad and Tobago, over 15 years at the Gullah Festival in Beaufort, South Carolina, the Cherry Blossom Festival, the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, Wolf Trap Performing Arts Center and the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.  East of the River's cultural exchange component has hosted the Trinidad Police Youth Club's steel band several times.  Dr. Bray worked tirelessly and made personal sacrifices to sustain the steel band, believing in "Prevention through the Arts".  Dr. Bray's hard work and legacy will continue to live on through the Steelband.