It was a treat to know more about this year’s Grammy Music Educator award winner, West Orange High School choir’s leader, Jeffery Redding. He is the leader, mentor, guru of the Advanced Womens choir.
Jeffrey Redding grew up in a family of 4 boys in a single family home, his mom was a school cafeteria worker and although they did not have much money, his mom taught them that circumstances don’t make a person. He always believed in two things: his music and his mom.
He is using his mom’s philosophy and paying it forward with the training he is giving his students. He says that he never discriminates among his students, and treats all of them equally as persons, and not based on skin color, height, weight etc.,
His students agree about him when one student who met him as a freshman says, that his voice resonates in her head, ‘You got to show them who you are, if you want to cry, you’re going to cry, if you’re not going to cry, you’re not gonna cry. Be the way you want to be, and be unapologetic about it.” Another of his students says she is thankful to him as she says, ‘He has given me an identity.’
Redding says that his mother’s words are his inspiration in all he does, as she said, “Because of what goes on on the outside, you can be the best version of yourself.” He is now paying it forward while training and serving his student choir and is paying tribute to his mother for the service and training she gave him and his siblings.