Crys Armbrust holds a Ph.D. in 17th- and 19th-century British literatures from the University of South Carolina, where he also taught and served as the founding Assistant Principal of USC’s arts- and humanities-based residential program, Preston College, in addition to teaching in USC's #1 ranked International MBA program at the Darla Moore School of Business. His literary research focuses on Spenser, Shakespeare, the 17th-century Metaphysical poets, 19th-century poetry, the book trade, and women devotional poets. Published work appears in “The Huntington Library Quarterly,” “Renaissance Papers,” “The George Herbert Quarterly,” “English Language Notes,” and the “The Dictionary of Literary Biography.” Armbrust has strong collateral interests, too, in music composition, organ performance, choral conducting and art history. He has served as Music Director for numerous Carolina churches, directing choral performances and residencies at the Washington National Cathedral, St. Albans Cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral and St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, with additional ensemble choral performances at Notre Dame in Paris, Karlskirche in Vienna, the Salzburger Dom and Carnegie Hall. He holds the further distinction, too, of having produced the 1st Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) bronze medal winner in America, Ms. Caroline Rollins, who went on to receive the RSCM's silver and gold medal awards as well. His published work in art history focuses on the civic iconography of German humanist Albrecht Durer. Further, he is currently researching the use of Masonic iconography by 18th-century English caricaturist William Hogarth. Armbrust serves as the Founder and Executive Director of the Eunice Waymon-Nina Simone Memorial Project (www.ninasimoneproject.org). He served as Economic Development Director for the Town of Tryon, North Carolina (www.exploretryon.com) from October 2008 to June 2015. His most recent Tryon, NC economic development projects culminated with the State of North Carolina's singular 2012 Small Town Main Street Award of Merit for Economic Restructuring, 2013 Small Town Main Street Award of Merit for Promotions and 2014 Small Town Main Street Award of Merit for Economic Restructuring. In July of 2015, Armbrust declared as a candidate for Town Council Commissioner in the Town of Tryon, NC municipal elections. He assumed office on December 15, 2015 for a four-year term. On December 12, 2016, Armbrust assumed the chair as Mayor Pro Tempore of the Town of Tryon, North Carolina.