Team and Family Profiles

Brian DeLay, Band and Choir Teacher at KIPP University Prep


B.A., Hunter College, City University of New York and M.M., University of Cincinnati


Springfield, Illinois

Fun Fact:

While playing concerts overseas, I was under surveillance by the Soviet KGB on numerous occasions. I used to enjoy finding bugs in my hotel telephones and lamps.

Years Teaching:

I signed my first teaching contract during the Carter Administration. I should have read the contract more carefully. Since I didn’t, I was forced to move pianos as a part of my duties. Live and learn.

Q&A with Brian DeLay

What inspired you to become a teacher?
I’ve taught music lessons since I was a teenager. My middle and high school music teachers inspired me to do so. After teaching college for many years, I was dared to try teaching at a public school. I took that dare and have been at it for the past ten years.

At work, how and what do you learn from those around you?
New teachers politely ask to borrow ideas. Grizzled veterans shamelessly steal anything that isn’t nailed down.  I’m one of the latter variety.  There are wonderful teachers all over UPrep, and I frequently swipe ideas on behalf of my students.

I maintain a healthy work/life balance by:
1. Mrs. DeLay has kept me sane since 1985.
2. Fatherhood reminds me that all sanity is fleeting.
3. A healthy balanced diet of the four basic food groups: music, music, music, and coffee.

Why did you choose KIPP San Antonio?
My passport says my birth day is April 24, but I was really born in Fred Nika’s guitar class on September 6, 1973. I received most of my formative music training in public schools: band, choir, orchestra, guitar.  I took it all! I feel that I have a debt to repay for that lifelong gift of music. I was teaching at BASIS when I heard about KIPP. I was drawn to the power of KIPP’s mission, immediately applied, and here I am!