Professional Development

Cheryl Floyd has been the director of bands at Hill Country Middle School in Austin, Texas, for over 25 years. She was one of the first females and the first middle school band director to be elected to the American Bandmasters Association. Floyd has served as co-principal flute with the Austin Symphonic Band since 1985. She is a Yamaha Master Educator.  
When a saxophone section "clicks," it's an awesome musical moment. These musicians are technically proficient, well-balanced, in tune and great communicators across the ensemble. In any band, an outstanding saxophone section can bring an irreplaceable timbre and depth to the entire group.  
As part of her True North approach to in­structing, Dr. Emily Threinen sees oppor­tunities to abandon the stick. Specifically, the director of bands and associate professor of music at the University of Minnesota recognizes when the baton is going to be helpful and when she needs to leave the podium to address an issue — especially with developing ensembles.
December is hectic for Jason Robb, director of bands at Rouse High School in Leander, Texas. He runs two high school holiday concerts, six middle school con­certs and a pancake dinner fundraiser for his booster organization.
When working with Paige's Music in Indianapolis, Indiana, local band directors give the game "red light, green light" a new twist. Tim Dawson, director of school sales at Paige's, works with band directors to put together presentations about instrument inventory based on red, yellow and green traffic lights.
Rather than relying on external motivation, successful teachers inspire students to fuel their own flame to attain a higher level of mastery. To this end, Chris Gleason, instrumental music educator at Patrick Marsh Middle School in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, taps into "the deeply human need to direct [one's life] and to learn, create and do better."
Marin Alsop was the first woman appointed to head a major orchestra in America (the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) in 2007 — not that long ago. As a female director of bands and associate professor of music at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Emily Threinen is aware of milestones like this one and its importance in music.
Marguerite Wilder is a widely recognized middle school conductor, clinician and consultant. She was director of Lovett Middle School Band and Woodward Academy Band, and taught at Tapp Middle School in Georgia. Wilder graduated from the University of Georgia and Georgia State University. She is a Yamaha Master Educator. 
Douglas Droste is director of orchestras and associate professor of music at Ball State University in Indiana. As a dedicated advocate of music education, Droste regularly conducts youth and all-state orchestras and serves as a clinician and adjudicator for school orchestras and festivals. 
In Case Study: Private School Outreach, we learned about the Mater Dei Music Academy. The middle school students in the program join the Mater Dei High School band — a close-knit group of about 50 — for several performances throughout the year. To form a cohesive unit among students from a variety of schools and ages, Taylor Smith — director of the Music Academy and associate band director at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California — created a mentorship program.

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