June’s Story

June was born and grew up in Newport News, Virginia. She comes from a musical family. June’s maternal grandmother, Rev. Viola Dabney Armstead, was an ordained minister and gospel singer who performed with her sister in a gospel music group known as The Dabney Sisters Trio. Rev. Armstead was the lead singer of this family singing group. The Dabney Sisters sang up and down the east coast appearing on many church programs that were held at churches, banquet halls, and arenas. The accompanist for this group was Rev. Armstead’s daughter and June’s mother, Mary Marie Montgomery—a gifted pianist and church organist who also served as choir director and minister of music for several churches over a span of sixty years. She completed this trio even though she was the daughter of the lead singer. Soon, Mary Marie Montgomery, began training an up and coming new music group that consisted of her three daughters, Bettye, June, and Cheryl Montgomery. This new group became known as The Montgomery Sisters Trio, of which June was the lead singer. It was not long after when The Montgomery Sisters began traveling with The Dabney Sisters, appearing on some of the same programs. 

While in high school, June became a soloist in her high school choir and also used her talents singing with several of the area’s top 20 bands. After her oldest sister, Bettye, left for college, The Montgomery Sisters Trio soon disbanded but did manage to get back together to perform for special engagements. However, June did not waste much time continuing her music as a solo artist. Later, she made her way into regional theatre as a singer, actress, and dancer. The Daily Press local newspaper presented June with the Critics Choice Award for Best Actress in a musical after her very first theatre debut. Soon, June began adding television commercials to her résumé. During this time, she was also employed as a public school educator. 

After briefly teaching for only seven years, June now married and the mother of two children, decided to resign from teaching to pursue musical theatre full-time, so she headed to New York City where she joined the thousands of hopefuls in making the audition rounds with dreams of gaining a role in a Broadway production. It soon became clear that life or fate had different plans for June. Due to home and family commitments, June no longer traveled to New York, so she returned to teaching while continuing to perform in local and regional theatre and also accepting invitations for other singing engagements. As education pursuits increased, theatre came to an end after performing for over 25 years. 

Years later, June became an assistant professor and the director of student teaching at a local university. She retired from public education in December 2018. Soon after retirement, she decided to do something that she had only dreamed about for many years—to record a CD. She made her dream a reality by completing her first music CD in 2019. It was nearly 28 years ago, June 16, 1991 to the date of her CD release, May 4, 2019 when she chose her CD title, “All Things in Time.” June will soon begin work on her second music project—a recording of some of her favorite jazz standards.

Today, June holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc.