The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

Forty for Forty

In celebration of Music for All’s 40th Anniversary in 2015, we are featuring profiles of music educators who have made a difference in Music for All and in band and orchestra education. In this post we feature a band director who has been involved with MFA/BOA since 1979.

40 for 40 Sheri Manning

How long have you been teaching?

Classroom teaching: 33 years. Secondary Fine Arts Facilitator position with the Clark County School District for eight years.

What are you doing professionally now?

Working in the Secondary Fine Arts Department for the Clark County School District, Las Vegas, NV. I am also director of the Youth Band for the Las Vegas Youth Orchestra organization.

Where have you taught in the past?

Sand Ridge Jr. High, Sky View H.S. and Mountain Crest H.S. in Utah. Robison M.S. in Las Vegas.

Where did you go to college? What degrees do you earn?

Utah State University in Logan, Utah: Masters Degree and beyond.

What would you say to a new band director who asks you "what is the one thing you wish someone had told you just starting out?"

My position now is to observe and help new teachers. Their struggle seems to always come down to classroom management and the behind the scenes paperwork. From my experience, classroom management with structure and procedures are so important to successful teaching. Always keep the students busy and never waste time. Classroom pacing and enthusiasm are "keys" to success. :-)

Tell us about your participation with Music for All and Bands of America.

I met those involved in Bands of America (MBA) in 1979 and couldn't get enough of the program and the knowledge being shared. I went to workshops, Summer Nationals, and was like a sponge in learning new things. The Sky View Band went to Summer Nationals in 1980 and loved the experience. It was so exciting for me to be asked to be on the Educational Advisory Board for BOA and I enjoyed that time there. When I became the band director at Mountain Crest, we participated in several Western Regionals and also the last Summer Nationals in 1985. The former students still talk about what a wonderful experience they had in participating in that event, and meeting other band students.

Since working in the Secondary Fine Arts Department for the Clark County School District, I have continued to attend several Regionals and have been able to attend Grand Nationals, as my schedule permits. It is such a joy to see how the bands are so amazing and continue to perform at such a high level!

What are some of the highlights and memorable moments from your experiences related to MFA/BOA?

The highlights for me have been all the wonderful mentors and people I have met through this organization! I am so grateful to have been able to associate with such "quality" music educators! I don't even dare begin to name everyone since I would certainly not be able to list the names of all the amazing people who have been such a positive influence on my life! Thank you!

What would you like to see MFA focus on or accomplish in the next 40 years?

Keep going for the kids, teachers, and promote the importance of music education in our schools!

In celebration of Music for All’s 40th Anniversary in 2015, we are featuring profiles of music educators who have made a difference in Music for All and in band and orchestra education. In this post we feature a band director who has been to every Summer Symposium since its existence. 

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Bob Buckner is a seasoned director and educator who dedicated his life to music education for over 45 years. Beginning his teaching career while attending college in 1966, Buckner worked as a director at Sylva Webster in Sylva, North Carolina for 13 years. He then started his own band-consulting firm, United Music Enterprises, and worked with a variety of groups throughout the U.S. and Canada such as Spirit of Atlanta, Carolina Crown, and the United States Drum and Bugle Corps. In August 1988 Buckner became Director of Bands at East Tennessee State University and taught there for three years before accepting his final full-time teaching job at Western Carolina University as Director of Athletic Bands in 1991.

Since Buckner retired in 2011 he continues to stay active as a drill writer, consultant and a conductor for Mountain Winds, a community band based out at Western Carolina University. He has also worked with VanderCook College of Music teaching an online course and hopes to work with Audition U, a music recruiting company that helps prospective high school students connect with university music programs. 

Buckner received his Bachelors in Music Education from Western Carolina University. In his free time he likes to hike, golf, and spend time with his grandchildren. 

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Q & A

Tell us about your participation with Music for All and Bands of America.

I knew about BOA (then MBA) long before getting involved. I saw Larry McCormick at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, as well as other music competitions, and was continually intrigued by his cutting edge marketing and company. My first experience was when I was asked to judge a BOA Regional Competition at James Madison University in 1978. That weekend marked a monumental change for me professionally, meeting some of the men that would remain (even today) some of the largest influences in my career and life. My next contact with the organization was in the summer of 1979 at the National Championship show in Whitewater. That was my first trip to camp and I haven’t missed one since! 

 Since then I’ve judged many shows, led a band to become the winner of a Grand Nationals competition and attended numerous events only to be repeatedly amazed at the organization’s dedication to music making.

What are some of the highlights and memories from your experiences related to MFA/BOA?

I could honestly write a book about my experiences with Music for All but my number one highlight would have to be when I was the director of the Sylva Webster High School Golden Eagle Band when they were named Grand National Champion in June 1979. 

Beyond that moment (which I would never have an opportunity to repeat), almost every Bands of America event brought me new friends and connections in addition to more knowledge about the business. I also thoroughly enjoyed judging Grand Nationals at Whitewater on several occasions, being a part of the “Director’s Marching Band,” and of course being inducted into the Bands of America Hall of Fame in 2005 alongside my dear friends Greg Bimm, Richard Crain and Gayle Crain. Recently I even had the opportunity to be the director of the Honor Band of America at the Tournament of Roses Parade in 2013.

What is one thing you’d say to a new band director who asks you “what is the one thing you wish someone had told you just starting out?”

I’d ask them why he or she wants to be a band director/teacher. Is their motivation to gain recognition for themselves or to simply go wherever they get a job and do their very best to teach children to play an instrument, learn to work as a team, and enjoy music for the remainder of their life? Many seem to think that it’s about personal achievement but it’s really about the children. It’s also about teaching children “through music,” using the subject to have a positive impact on their entire lives. If one continues to grow as a musician and surround themselves with teammates and followers who can work effectively together, everything else will fall into place.

What do you like to see Music for All focus on or accomplish in the next 40 years?

I have always dreamed that Bands of America and Music for All could do more to include bands of all levels, not just those that are elite with large budgets. The Summer Symposium addresses this, but it needs to be incorporated into the marching competitions. 

I also think it would be beneficial for Music for All to create a legacy by commissioning more music and to expand partnership with interested colleges and universities to bring more of the MFA experience to other parts of the country. 

Sylva Webster

In celebration of Music for All’s 40th Anniversary in 2015, we are featuring profiles of music educators who have made a difference in Music for All and in band and orchestra education. In this post, we feature a band director who has had bands invited to five Music for All National Festivals, including the debut Festival in 1992.

40 for 40

How long have you been teaching?

This is my 37th year.

Where do you teach now?

In my 28th year at the University of Washington in Seattle;1983-1987, Montana State University; 1978-1983, Herscher H.S., IL.

Where did you go to college? What degrees do you earn?

I hold degrees from Wheaton (IL) College (Bachelor of Music Education), and Northern Illinois University (Master of Music in low brass performance), and studied privately with Arnold Jacobs, former tubist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

What would you say to a new band director who asks you "what is the one thing you wish someone had told you just starting out?”

If you drop a rock in the middle of the lake it takes a long time for the ripples to get to shore. Stay the course and be patient.

Tell us about your participation with Music for All and Bands of America.

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I was involved as the director of a competing high school marching band [while at Herscher H.S.], taught at the Summer Symposium, adjudicated both marching band Regionals and Grand Nationals and evaluated concert band festivals.

What are some of the highlights and memorable moments from your experiences related to MFA/BOA?

Winning the Summer National Championship in 1982 with the Herscher H.S. Marching Band. Herscher, at that time, was a town of 1,200 people, the school had about 700 students in it, 9-12. It was a lot like the basketball movie Hoosiers.

What would you like to see MFA focus on or accomplish in the next 40 years?

I’d like to see MFA help to prepare the next generation of music educators to be more intentional about connecting their students with deeply immersive experiences in art.

In celebration of Music for All’s 40th Anniversary in 2015, we are featuring profiles of music educators who have made a difference in Music for All and in band and orchestra education. In this post, we feature a band director who has had bands invited to five Music for All National Festivals, including the debut Festival in 1992.

David Maccabee: United Township High School, East Moline, Illinois

DavidMaccabee CroppedDavid Maccabee is currently Director of Bands at United Township High School in East Moline, Illinois, a position he has held since 1986. He previously taught in the Geneseo and Nokomis, Illinois school systems. At United Township High School, he is director of all instrumental music ensembles, including Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Marching Band, musical pit orchestra, and pep band. During Mr. Maccabee’s tenure, enrollment in the UTHS Band program has grown from 100 to nearly 200 members.

He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Augustana College (IL). He received his Master’s Degree in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music Education in 1989.

Mr. Maccabee is a frequent guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator throughout the United States. Mr. Maccabee has also served the Illinois Music Educator’s Association as Division Chair, All-State Auditioner, and member of the IMEA Mentoring Council. He is a member of the National Band Association where he currently serves as state chair for Illinois. In 2014, Mr. Maccabee was named “Bandmaster of the Year” by the Illinois chapter of Phi Beta Mu. He was the first recipient of the “Dr. Victor Zajec Award,” given to him in recognition of the United Township High School Symphonic Band’s performance at the 1998 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic.

Q&A

Tell us about your participation with Music for All and Bands of America?

We participated as one of eight bands in the very first National Concert Band Festival at Northwestern University back in 1992. We also participated in the National Concert Band Festival in 1995, 1997, 2001, and 2008. Our marching band was a semi finalist back in 1997, and we participated in regional Bands of America events back in the 90’s as well.

What are some of the highlights and memorable moments from your experiences related to MFA/BOA?

maccabee paynter fest92During the first National Concert Band Festival I had an extended conversation with William Revelli. I learned a lot, especially about programming and literature. It was a very moving, memorable moment watching Fred Fennell working with the very first Honor Band of America back in 1992. Former students of mine who were in that band still talk about that experience. Many of the evaluators from the National Concert Band Festival have become trusted friends and colleagues. I continue to learn and be inspired by these people to this day.

What is one thing you’d say to a new band director who asks you “what is the one thing you wish someone had told you just starting out?”

You will touch more lives than you can imagine. Being a band director, your life will impact your students, their families, their extended families, the entire school including fellow staff members, custodians, bus drivers, the administrative staff – everyone. The community you work in will be profoundly touched by your work as well. Understand that your role as a music educator has meaningful impact far beyond your classroom.

What do you like to see Music for All focus on or accomplish in the next 40 years?

I hope Music for All will continue to hold their name “Music for All” as a guide for their whole mission. I fear that music education could become music for the “haves and have nots.” I hope “Music for All” will continue to reach and support all of us, regardless of our resources, in our efforts to make quality music education available to all schools.

In celebration of Music for All’s 40th Anniversary in 2015, we will be featuring profiles of music educators who have made a difference in Music for All and in band and orchestra education. In this post, we present the first of our music educator profiles. Watch for more throughout this year!

PROFILE Kenneth Snoeck

Ken for Blog

How long have you been teaching?
KS I began teaching in 1969, so 46 years.

Where do you teach now? If not teaching now, when did you retire from teaching, and what are you doing now?
KS While I retired from having to get up every day at 5:00 a.m. to teach in 2004, I do still consider myself a teacher.

Where have you taught in the past?
KS I started as a graduate teaching assistant at Central Michigan University, then on faculty at CMU. Went to the Bridgeport, MI, public schools and then to Lake Park High School in Roselle, IL.

Where did you go to college? What degrees do you earn?
KS Central Michigan University for BSEd and MM. Later various places for an additional 45 hours.

What would you say to a new band director who asks you “what is the one thing you wish someone had told you just starting out?”
KS Patience! Developing a culture of excellence takes time and consistent attention. There are no good quick answers. It needs attention and maintenance every day.

Tell us about your participation with Music for All and Bands of America.
Ken Snoeck Bridgeport pic BLOGKS My bands from Bridgeport were finalists at the first three BOA (then MBA) Summer Nationals 1976-78. [Wife] Pamela and I did Weekend With The Experts sessions all over the country several years for the then parent company and we both judged some of the earliest BOA (MBA) Regionals. We both worked the Summer Symposiums, then at Whitewater, several times. I was briefly in the MBA office as the adjudication coordinator in 1980 where I wrote the first version of the rules and adjudication manual. My bands at Lake Park started participating in MBA/BOA events with a regional in 1984 and first went to Grand Nationals in 1985 where the band was a finalist. The Lake Park bands were Grand National finalists 18 times, placing in the top five for 11 consecutive years, 1987-1997. In recent years I have had the opportunity and honor to judge some of the BOA events. It is a wonderful experience to witness performances of so many dedicated student performers and see the efforts of talented and creative teachers and designers. Very humbling.

What are some of the highlights and memorable moments from your experiences related to MFA/BOA?
KS The first Summer Nationals finals with Bridgeport. The wonderful camaraderie among
the clinicians at the early Whitewater symposia. The first regional finals with Lake Park.
The band making Grand National finals for the first time in 1985.
The band being Grand National Champion in 1996.
Being inducted into the Bands of America Hall of Fame in 2004.

What would you like to see MFA focus on or accomplish in the next 40 years?
KS Be a major voice for instrumental music advocacy. Things will be getting much more difficult for programs in the future. Without help, not only will there be no BOA/MFA, there will be no school music.

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