Perryman shares her musicial talents through teaching

Taylor Astin, Reporter

Heather Perryman is no ordinary teacher. She doesn’t teach a science, history, or math class. She teaches chorus, a class some students might not even know the school offers.

When asked what her biggest hope for the students that step foot in her class is, her answer was simple: “that they realize that someone cares for them.”

“I hope they know I see them. I hear them. I’m their biggest cheerleader and ‘school mom,’ as some of them like to call me. I genuinely care about them all. I want only the best for them and pray every night they will one day achieve their dreams,” said Perryman.

Perryman has been an educator with PCS for 17 years. Previously, before teaching at Tunstall, Perryman taught at Gretna for two years and Southside Elementary for one year.

She has a Bachelor of Arts from Averett College and a Masters of Music from James Madison University. She also has taken classes/workshops at Danville Community College, Liberty University, Lynchburg College, and Westminster Choir College.

“I have had a passion for music since I began learning piano at age four. My middle/high school band director was the direct inspiration for my desire to become a teacher,” she said.

Her favorite part of teaching chorus is that it’s a new adventure every day.

“I never know what hilarity will ensue, or what powerful message we’ll achieve through music. I think there is a unique quality to being involved in a group like this and it makes an impact on everyone who walks into class.”

Chorus participates in many events throughout the year and Perryman has been able to experience every one. Some of these events include All-County Chorus, All-District Chorus, District Assessment at Radford University, and even for WSET “Sounds of Christmas” television program. They also perform in the THS arts extravaganza every year.

Outside of school, Perryman works at First Presbyterian Church as the music director. She will be the guest harpsichordist for the Danville Symphony Orchestra this summer.

She will be performing in the Danville Symphony Orchestra Winter Concert, as well, on March 3 in the George Washington High School auditorium.

Outside of music, Perryman enjoys a wide variety of activities.

“I love to read and often will read a book in one sitting, if given the chance. I enjoy yoga and spending time with my husband playing games, or watching Sci-Fi movies and cuddling with our two cats, Jinny and Helena. Yes, both names are from characters in the Harry Potter movies,” said Perryman.

From being thanked again by two students who recently graduated college to seeing her middle and high school choirs achieve superior ratings at District Assessment, Perryman has a lot of fond memories as a chorus teacher.

“I have to say though, the best memory I have, out of so many, is of the chorus singing at my wedding last June. It meant more to me than words can express,” said Mrs. Perryman.

Mrs. Perryman and the students who sang at her wedding.