Dr. Barry McVinney has led an eclectic musical life. He grew up in the smallest town closest to New York City, Irvington-on-Hudson (pop. 6,000). Other residents included jazz greats Stan Getz, Mel Lewis, and Bob James, but he found a great, though less-known, teacher and mentor named Tom Carpenter with whom he studied sax, flute, clarinet, and jazz improvisation for ten years. His college career began at Hunter College in NY City, and then he completed a BA in clarinet and music theory at Fredonia State College in western NY state. After earning graduate degrees in flute performance from Texas and Nebraska (institutions better known for football than their fine music programs) he taught at Howard Payne Univ., Ouachita Baptist Univ., and the Univ. of Arkansas at Little Rock. In the midst of learning and teaching he toured with Broadway musicals to 45 states and Canada, and performed with symphony orchestras, jazz bands, chamber groups, and rock bands. Presently he teaches full time at Pulsaski Technical College in North Little Rock, and he coaches the Jazz Combo at Hendrix College.
Dr. Barry McVinney