Eric B. Byrd
Consultant, Public Speaker,Educator, Musician
All of his life Eric Byrd has been a leader.
He delivered the graduating speech he wrote in 5th Grade. He was student council president in middle school. He graduated from his hometown high school - Willingboro High in Willingboro, NJ - as a member of every musical ensemble the school offered. He held leadership positions at his church, athletics, community building activities and other areas, all of which set him on his current trajectory.
He graduated from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) with an B.A. in Music, winning the prestigious 1938 Excellence in Music Award. He earned a Masters in Music from Morgan State University, singing with the internationally acclaimed Morgan State University Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Nathan Carter. Along the way, Byrd began what would be a 17-year teaching career at McDaniel.
He created, rehearsed and led the McDaniel College Gospel Choir to local and international acclaim. His choir raised over $20,000 to tour Vienna, Austria. He began his recording career, recording a gospel CD with vocalist Lea Gilmore. His jazz recording career included being hired by legendary Washington, D.C. legends, and he recorded his debut jazz CD as a leader in 1999.
With leadership as a consistent theme, he designed and implemented music program at Gerstell Academy, a private school whose entire curriculum is based on leadership principals and attributes. He taught hundreds of kids music through the lens of leadership principles and attributes.
In 2001, he led The Eric Byrd Trio in becoming US State Department Washington, DC Kennedy Center Jazz Ambassadors, beating out 74 other jazz trios for this distinguished title. Many would choose to rest after these and many other accomplishments. Eric was just getting started.
In 2010 he became Minister of Music/Worship Leader at St John Baptist Church, a large, historic African American church in Columbia, MD. With nearly 2,000 members Byrd leads a staff and volunteer base of over 125 individuals. He personally oversees a budget of over a quarter of a million dollars. His day to day is resolving conflict, teaching new music, casting a vision for the future, managing a budget, modeling change and much, much more. He is a Grammy Award voter for the last 10 years as a member of the Washington, DC chapter. His tenure on staff ended in January 2019.
In 2016 he received an additional Masters in Ministry: Leadership Studies degree from Lancaster Bible College. Also, he was asked to resurrect a once glorious choir back to its esteemed past; he is now on the music faculty of Messiah College.
VIP Consulting is his company. He is the embodiment of it's tag line: Leadership done well.
Today, Eric travels, performs and lectures throughout the country. He facilitates change through motivational speaking about vision, prayer and conflict resolution; consulting with individual groups to create their paths to effective change; and throughout performance and workshops