Brayer has been a judge since 2017
Bitter Jester Music Festival Judge
In a previous life, Brayer Teague was Bitter Jester Music Fest Founder Nicolas DeGrazia's middle school band director at Elm Place in Highland Park, IL. For his more recent accomplishments, read on...
Brayer currently serves as the Fine Arts Department Chairperson at Downers Grove North High School, and is the President of the Illinois Music Education Association. A Top-10 Finalist for the National GRAMMY Music Educator Award (2016), he has been recognized five times by the Marquis “Who’s Who in American Teaching” and named a Golden Apple Scholar finalist. He received the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award, and is a National Board Certified Teacher.
A graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, Brayer taught for three years in Highland Park, Illinois before joining the music faculty of Downers Grove North High School in 1993. He later completed additional graduate work in Educational Leadership at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. In recent years he has continued his exploration of the arts through coursework at various colleges in photography, jewelry/metalwork, and ceramics.
Brayer has published educational materials for Microsoft Inc., co-authored a curriculum guide for the Illinois State Board of Education, and presented at national and international conferences.
He is an advocate for expanding the walls of the traditional arts classroom through music performance tours. In addition to a bi-annual music and cultural exchange program he coordinates with a musikschule in Bietigheim- Bissingen, Germany, he has led student music tours to Ireland, England, Italy, France, Austria, the Czech Republic, Canada, and a host of cities in the United States.
Brayer is a member of the National Education Association and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). He is a past-VP of the Illinois Music Educators Association. During his tenure on the ILMEA Board of Directors he coordinated the Illinois All-State Music Composition Contest, a nationally admired program that aims to foster and recognize outstanding student music composition.