Flutist, pianist, composer, and conductor Byron W. Petty holds a BM in flute performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with the noted flutist Britton Johnson. He has served as Instructor of Piano at Roanoke College and Instructor of Flute and Piano at Southern Virginia University. He is a Lecturer in Music and has taught courses in Composition and Musical Analysis as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Washington and Lee University. From 1995-2002, Petty was the Conductor/Music Director of the Eurydice Community Orchestra of Roanoke and subsequently, the Artistic Director from 2002 through 2003.
Petty has appeared frequently as a solo pianist and chamber musician on the Con Spirito Concert Series of Roanoke, Virginia. He served as a judge for the 21st through 23rd annual Bartok-Kabalesky-Prokofiev International Piano Competition held at Radford University in Virginia, the 2003 Virginia Music Teachers Association Collegiate Concerto Competition, and the Bland Music Scholarship Competition. Appearances with both Con Spirito and E.C.O.R. have been broadcast on Public Radio’s Music Around Roanoke 89.1 FM. In March 2009, Petty appeared as guest conductor with the University-Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto #1 in G minor, Op. 25 with his wife Dr. Shuko Watanabe as soloist.
As a composer, his works have been performed at regional meetings of the Society of Composers Inc., the Southeastern Composers’ League, the College Music Society, and at the 1994 National Alliance of Saxophonists Conference at West Virginia University. From 1996-1998 he served as Composition Chair for the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the College Music Society, where he established a composition competition for college students. In July 2003, Petty appeared as featured composer-in-residence for the Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd College, Shepherdstown, West Virginia, presenting a master class and two concerts of his works including the specially commissioned Mysteries of the Orchard Series.